Combined profits at 17 insurance firms rise by more than 1,300% in a year

Profits at insurance companies have increased by more than 1000%, despite rising premiums for customers.

According to the Irish Independent, the 17 domestic non-life insurers made combined profits of €227m in 2017, up from €16m in 2016.

This is an increase of 1,318%.

Motor cover for private and commercial motorists gave the insurers combined profits of €125m, while average motor insurance premiums increased by 70% between 2013 and 2016.

Household and commercial property insurance provided combined profits of €84.3m to the 17 firms.

There are calls on the Government to do more to bring down insurance costs.

Chairman of the Consumers Association Michael Kilcoyne told the Independent: "It is time they started sharing the profits with the rest of us.

"They have a captive market in motors and they charge what they like."

However, an Insurance Ireland spokesman said that in the five years up to 2017, general insurers had made underwriting losses, incurred after they paid out claims and accounted for administrative expenses.

They said: "Irish general insurers had underwriting losses in motor and liability insurance of over €1.1bn in the five years to 2017 - €757m in motor and €349m in liability.

"The liability markets were still loss-making in 2017 with underwriting losses of €47m."

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