Motor Insurance Comparison Survey reveals potential savings of up to €1,249

March 24, 2015

 

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission’s Motor Insurance Comparison Survey has revealed that consumers could make significant savings on their motor insurance by getting quotes from more than one insurer and taking time to research their options before buying a policy. The potential savings vary depending on the level of cover required and the individual’s circumstances, but for comprehensive cover the difference in quotes received was found to be between €156 and €1,249. For third party fire and theft the difference in quotes ranged from €137 to €975.

Published today, the survey compares motor insurance quotes from eight insurance providers based on nine different driver profiles – which vary in age, location, driver experience and other lifestyle factors.

The research also highlighted;

  • Potential savings were seen across all of the profiles surveyed, for example for a 67 year old, driving a Ford Fiesta in Dublin there was over €170 in the difference between the lowest and highest quote.
  • For one of the profiles an increase in penalty points from 2 to 6 points resulted in an increase of 37% for comprehensive cover and 49% for third party fire and theft (the difference relates to the average of the quotes provided).
  • Just two of the eight insurers surveyed provided a quote for a driver with six penalty points.
  • The survey also revealed the variation in benefits offered and the range of excesses included in policies.  Excesses (the amount which a consumer will have to pay in the event of a claim) for comprehensive policies ranged from €200 to €550 and for third party fire and theft the policy excesses varied between €0 and €500.

 

The Motor Insurance Comparison Survey also highlighted the importance of drivers notifying their insurance providers of any significant change in circumstance. A new address or, in some cases, a new profession can have implications in terms of the cost and validity of a motor insurance policy –  where the change increases the risk of accident or theft.

In terms of no claims bonuses, the survey found there were differences across each of the providers in the application of the bonus. For example, there were variations in the number of years the bonus can be earned over and the maximum bonus discount that could be earned varied between 50% and 75%. This highlights the importance of reviewing the no claims discount terms before signing up and understanding how a no claims discount will be affected by a claim.

Many insurers offer the option of paying for a policy by instalments. This can be a useful way of spreading out the cost of insurance; however it usually incurs an additional cost. Seven of the eight insurers who participated in the survey allow consumers to pay for their motor insurance by instalments and the charge for paying by instalments (annual equivalent rate) ranged from 9.5% to 20.1% of the policy premium.

When looking at their insurance requirements, consumers should consider the following;

  • Get the right level of cover for your needs
  • Be realistic when estimating the value of the car. Setting the value too high or too low can have implications on the cost of the policy and on future claims
  • Building up a no claims bonus will make a significant difference to the policy cost
  • Read the terms and conditions, particularly those which relate to policy excess.
  • Having a higher policy excess may lower the cost of the premium but the excess will have to be paid if a claim is made on the policy
  • Benefits vary between policies, read the terms and conditions to ensure that it meets your needs e.g. if breakdown assistance is important to you check that the policy provides this service and that the details match your expectations
  • Inform insurers of any significant change in circumstance. If the change increases the risk of theft or accident, not informing your insurer could impact on the validity of the policy
  • Visit consumerhelp.ie  for further information including a useful motor insurance checklist

 

 

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