The great insurance scam


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Culture of rising premiums and dubious claims has got to be stopped

Column: BarrTalk

In the last seventeen years of driving I have shelled out the price of a good car in payments to insurance companies without making a single claim.

At a fairly conservative average of €500 per year, I have handed over €8,500 since 1999. That’s around €1,500 more than the current value of my car – a 2008 Honda Accord – without a red cent in return.

And what do I get for my so far flawless record?

Nothing. In fact I get worse than nothing, in the shape of rising premiums every year.

At least, in years gone by, there was the understanding that a lengthy period without a claim would be rewarded in kind with lower premiums.

But that arrangement seems to have fallen by the wayside in recent years, loyalty appearing to count for little if anything.

I was quoted the obscene figure of almost €1,200 to renew my insurance last month.

The company I have been with for more than a decade eventually dropped their ask to €900 but I left anyway and found much cheaper cover elsewhere.

My quote was not an outlier. Far from it in fact, prices are rising across the board – and fast too.

The Central Statistics Office has found that insurance premiums have risen by 70 per cent in the past three years.

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