Drivers angered at price of insurance cover

More than 11,500 complaints were made to motor insurers in the second half of 2016, according to the latest Central Bank consumer protection bulletin. More than half of the complaints related to pricing.

The number of motor insurance policies in 2016 was more than 2.1m and premiums were worth €1.02bn. The Central Bank data found the reporting motor insurance companies received 11,502 complaints, representing 0.5% of live policies.

Around half of all these consumer complaints related to pricing, while a fifth related to customer service. An eighth of complaints related to voiding, decline of policy and terms and conditions issues.

However, only 6% of the complaints were made by consumers about motor insurance claims.

Total redress of €9,800 was paid in the second half of 2016 for 44 motor insurance claim complaint cases and 99% of the motor insurance complaints were resolved within 40 business days, the Central Bank said.

Almost two-thirds of policies are provided by Irish companies regulated by the Central Bank. Governor Philip Lane said earlier this month that the Central Bank recognised that “volatility in the price of insurance has an unwelcome impact on consumers”.

Mr Lane said that while the Central Bank does not have a role in the setting of premiums and is explicitly prohibited by European law from having such a role, it was committed to working with the Oireachtas Finance Committee, members of the Cost of Insurance Working Group and other interested parties.

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