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At last we are getting some data regarding the performance of the motor insurance business in Ireland.

The mere fact that 21 companies are listed as providers is extraordinary when five companies account for 87 per cent of policy losses.

One company accounts for 37 per cent of the market losses, two others for 15 per cent, followed by two more at 10 per cent, with one major player in marginal profit.

One must, given the wide divergence in losses, ask the simple question as to why we are seeing huge and uniform percentage increases across the board, with the threat of more to come. We might be forgiven if we came to the conclusion that in reality we don’t actually have a competitive market.

That these companies would take their policy income and invest it in markets that are at their most volatile in decades is at the very least foolish.

The fact that this is common practice and a mechanism to underpin what clearly is an unstable, if not an unsustainable, business in its own right, suggests the need for urgent Government intervention before many hard-pressed motorists are forced off the road.

It is ironic that as I write this one of the larger providers has a television campaign extolling the virtues of its policies. Surely retrenchment should be the order of the day.

Derek MacHugh,
Co Wicklow.

Insurance and motorists (Irish Times letters)

Previously: ‘There Is A Cartel Of Insurance Underwriters’

20 thoughts on “Premium Content

        1. Sheik Yahbouti

          In fairness, at least Harry turns up for the gig. A fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay, wha’!!

  1. Jake38

    Eyewatering legal costs are bankrupting the country. Car insurance is just one of the more clearly visible examples.

    1. Junkface

      Car insurance companies in Ireland are scum. They’re hiding the real profits they make. The average cost of insurance in other EU countries is half or just under half of what Irish people have to pay. Why? WHHHHYYY??
      We get no clear answers from anyone in Govt. There is a car insurance cartel here. We, the Irish people I mean, should just one day get into our cars and start a blockade of Dublin city. Civil disobediance, just for a few hours. Really feck up the cities economy for a day. Everyone else will be going on strike, why can’t we the public?

  2. Guess Who

    Health Insurance industry is the same and has worsened since the merger of Aviva Health and Glo Health into Irish Life Health.

    And don’t be fooled by cheaper premiums claiming to offer the same cover because it usually means a change in terms and conditions, giving the insurance company the final say in what kind of treatment you’ll get instead of your clinician.

  3. Cloud9

    “Investing their income in volatile markets” the fools!!!! Insurance company’s should never do this… Just put it in the post office like they do in other countries. …… Childish nonsense as ever. I’m waiting for the rush of new entrants into the market to take advantage of huge rates… So where are they? No legal or licensing restrictions to entry. Anyone with a crummy office in Malta etc can give it a bash, risk free! Or just maybe their isn’t a pot of gold..

  4. Kieran NYC

    Insurance companies making losses and then this guy wonders why premiums are going up.

    He’s sharp as a tack, that fella.

  5. joe Dolan

    So he’s bang on. Large Ins companies have spotted that it’s nigh impossible to penetrate the market here, and even harder to launch. Commitment to the Insurance bureau, underwriting, competition at a high level, consumer ignorance and the cost of advertising/reaching out to to customers is prohibitve.
    So they’ll behave like cigarette companies. Not care about govt intervention or competition, cos neither can happen. Just milk it now, cos they can.
    That company that sounds like ‘Fiberty’ for example, are flogging a car insurance product with a rental policy that no one wants, because it doesn’t cost them but makes them relevant with the yoot, and looks responsible..
    The answer? get the financial regulator to open the books and prove the cost of claim per policy. it’s all recorded sure, and itd make interesting reading… IF we wanted to see it….

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