New rules aimed at increasing transparency in the motor insurance sector go live.
If there’s one bill Irish people hate to overpay on it’s car insurance.
While many of us are slow to switch our mortgage, our current account or even our gas bills, shopping around for better value car insurance is one thing we’re all pretty good at. And from today that process just got a bit easier thanks to new rules being introduced by the Central Bank, which aim to provide more information to people renewing their motor insurance policies.
What’s the background?
Back in 2016 the Government set up a working group to look at the increasing cost of insurance in Ireland. The group’s report was published in 2017 and made over 30 recommendations, some of which are now being introduced by the Central Bank.
So what’s changing?
- From today, when car insurance customers get their renewal notice, it must clearly state on the same page as the renewal premium what the price was the previous year. This will help customers quickly and easily see whether the cost of their car insurance has gone up or down.
- Renewal notices will now have to be sent out to customers 20 days before their policy is due to expire, up from 15 days previously. This will give customers more time to shop around or discuss a better deal with their current insurer.
- The renewal notice will now have to include a quote for all of the cover options that are available such as comprehensive, third-party fire and theft, or third-party only. This will help customers decide whether there’s a cheaper level of cover available.
Better informed decisions
Gráinne McEvoy, Director of Consumer Protection, said: “These new Central Bank rules will help consumers make better informed decisions when shopping around for their insurance policies. Motor insurance in particular can represent a significant outlay for many people, so these changes will help people to shop around and make informed choices.
“We are insisting that insurers put the price comparison on the same page of any renewal notice. This makes it easy for customers to see if their premium has increased. We expect the insurance sector to embrace these rules, in the best interest of their customers. And the Central Bank will closely monitor their compliance.’’
What do you think?
Are you happy with the new changes? Do you think they go far enough? What would you like to see introduced? Get in touch and let us know.
And if you're looking for ways to reduce your car insurance costs, here's a list of simple things you can do to help reduce your premium.