South Meath Driving School

Making Irish Roads Safer

We use a 1.4 litre Toyota Yaris.

    Dual control means the tutor has a clutch and brake pedal on the passenger side for demonstration or emergency purposes.
    This car is very easy to drive and allows good vision in all directions.
    Diesel engine and manual gears.
    Seats are adjustable to suit small or tall people. Wing mirrors electronically adjustable
    Perfect for learning to drive.

Archive for the ‘Driving’ Category

Posted by Louis on August 11, 2016

Motor Insurance – Rising Prices

‘Regulation’ appears to be a term that has got lost in the lexicon of politicians and bankers and insurers over the last decade. We’re all so familiar with the advertisements for banks, ending with ‘..Bank of xxx is regulated by the Financial Regulator.’ Where was that so-called Regulator when the bankers at Anglo Irish etc. were making fun of the good people of Ireland?

Now Insurance Companies claim that it is the increased number of costs and claims that are behind the huge premium hikes of the last two years.

Finian McGrath, FF finance spokesman, sought figures from Minister Noonan recently.

He said that 1.5 billion eur was paid out in claims in 2011; 1.06 bn was paid in ’12 and 987 million was paid out in ’13. McGrath claims that the pay-out for ’14 was 36% less than that of ’11. And of course figures aren’t available for ’15. And when in opposition, you call for a task force to be set up to investigate. So say all of us!

The upshot of all this is that insurance costs have rocketed by percentages that range from 25% to 60%. In my own case the increase was 25%: I had no claim and see no reason why this should be so. And 25% is a good, firm round number, a quarter increase on last year’s figure when inflation is close to zero. I can always write to Minister Noonan and seek a refund.

It is now claimed that Insurance Companies undercut each other in recent years to gain market share. They did to our detriment now, as we  have Quinn and Setanta gone bust and RSA were bailed out to the tune of 300 million. That’s what we are now paying for. More mismanagement, no regulation, no governance, just like we had under Bertie & Co. with the banks.

When I was a younger lad, PMPA Insurance went bust and Mother Ireland bailed her out. My generation was paying 3 pounds annual fee for them for most of our motoring life. And now this!

If it isn’t a levy, or on top of a levy, those companies are looking for other reasons to nail a customer to their cross. Any old reason at all, such as the age of the car; if it’s over 10 years old, despite passing the NCT; if you have a few penalty points. They are already looking at people’s job titles. How far do you drive to work? And why not, if our politicians ignore the vultures.

I heard a lady talk to Joe Duffy this week on the subject of her terminal cancer. She wants to take her last overseas holiday and required travel insurance. Being aware of her health situation, one of the questions posed to her on the application was, ‘How long do you expect to live.’ Even our ‘Talk to Joe’ broadcaster was exasperated.

Insurance Cos’ want to settle claims as quickly as possible to avoid legal costs. While they may say that the State did them no favours in doubling to 60,000eur the amount the Circuit Court may award in a claim, it may also be claimed that such scope saves higher expenses in going to the High Court. Same for District Court having jurisdiction to award 32,000.00, which can save the higher cost of going to the Circuit.

The Book of Quantum apparently has not been updated since it was introduced here some fifteen years ago. This book is a guide to appropriate compensation for different injuries, like the common one – whiplash, sore neck etc. depending on the duration of the pain. Apparently, a sore neck in Ireland is “worth” 3 times what it’s worth in England!  This Book is very detailed in N.I. and England and is a clear guide for settling claims.

Dodgy claims should be fully investigated by Insurance Companies. I saw a claim where a husband and wife collided with each other, not in the living room, but in their two cars. Their claim for injuries was settled in handsome favour of one. Soon after there was another claim from the same family. Their shop was robbed one night while the husband was away on business. Having investigated this ‘robbery’ it soon looked more likely that it was a set-up for compensation. Indeed the ‘husband’ was using a false name. The pair weren’t married at all. All this information was passed to the insurance investigators. The claim was paid without their further investigation. While that was some years past, it was unacceptable that any insurance investigator should have taken the easy option – let the people pay!

Irish people have been very patient in the face of paying for collapsed banks, a cut in wages and pensions, the crucifixion that is the universal social charge, property charges and of course water charges. The Greeks protested with fire and brimstone while we took it on the chin, except for Paul Murphy TD tearing up his water bill in front of the media.

Now we must shoulder a hike in insurance for all motor vehicles. There’s another that hasn’t been aired much. House insurance has also taken a hike.

While Insurance Companies blame lawyers’ fees and Courts costs, while others say it is simply to increase their profit margins: one glaring facet of it all is that our Regulator of the industry allows it all to happen.

It’s a long time since 64 AD when Emperor Nero is reputed to have fiddled while Rome burned. We cannot afford to suffer another scorching at the hands of the appointed ones.