LATEST: Insurance Ireland defends the rising cost of premiums

Update 5.30pm: Insurance Ireland has moved to defend the rising costs of premiums.

New figures from the Personal Injuries Board show claims rose just 3% between 2013 and 2016, with annual fees rising 70% in the same period.

However, Insurance Ireland claims that cost has in fact risen 50% since 2011.

"We've clearly stated that due to low-interest rate environment, insurers were no longer getting the returns that they previously got, which was able to hedge against the volatility in the claims environment," says Kevin Thompson CEO of Insurance Ireland

"Those days are gone. Hence it brings the focus firmly back in terms of cost of claims and the claims environment we have at the moment."

Earlier: The cost of motor insurance claims rose just 3% between 2013 and 2016, despite premiums rising 70% in that time.

The PIAB figures cast doubt over the insurance industry's assertions that higher claim costs were increasing premium prices.

However, the average price of a premium has dropped by 10% in the past year, according to CSO figures.

Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty says people are understandably frustrated but says new government measures will make a difference in premium prices.

"Any of the changes by Eoghan Murphy over the last couple of month are going to take 12-18 months to filter in.

"There was a realisation that the changes to be made, there were 72 recommendations in that report, some of them are going to take longer to feed into a reduction in premiums."

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