The insurance industry is ripping us off while the number of claims is falling, according to the Central Bank. The industry expects honesty from its policyholders, while unethically cutting their throats with over-the-top premiums. In some cases doubling the cost of insurance without the slightest justification for claim-free policyholders who are seldom rewarded for their no-claims status.
The cost of transferring insurance to another vehicle is the latest racket. There was a time when it cost nothing to transfer insurance to another vehicle, or between €15 and €25, but now it is getting close to €100 and past it for some vehicles.
Gross premiums are also adjusted upwards to allow for huge loyalty discounts, forcing clients to stay with one company or lose the discount in anti-competitive practices.
Policy administration fees are another progressive tax the industry has decided to add to people’s premiums. The insurance industry has become nothing but a price-fixing cartel where shareholders’ interests matter most.
Despite the huge cost of insurance, the quality of insurance products sold is poor with policies littered with endorsements, restrictions, and exclusions which appear to be getting more extensive over time in favour of the insurer.
Policyholders end up with a high-priced poor quality product which gets more expensive over time, while progressively negating the insurer’s liability. It is time for the government to burst up our monopolised insurance industry and end rip-off Ireland and our soaring service costs. It makes us one of the most expensive and unattractive places for investment anywhere in the world.
This reader's opinion was first published in the print edition of the Irish Examiner on December 18, 2019