35% drop in claims sees car insurance companies save €287m in 2020

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The savings for car insurance companies in the Dublin region alone amounted to €113 million.
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James Cox

Covid-19 restrictions have led to many changes in Irish society, one being a reduction in road traffic, and Irish car insurance companies have profited from this with a 35.07 per cent drop in car-related claims in 2020.

This represents a saving of €287 million for car insurance companies, according to a study from HelloSafe.

The 35 per cent drop in claims is a direct comparison with last year while the €287 million saving for car insurance companies is attributed to low traffic on Irish roads in 2020.

That figure includes a saving of €113 million for car insurance companies in the Dublin region alone, savings in Cork amounted to €32 million.

Co Leitrim was at the foot of the scale with insurance savings of just over €1 million.

Chart: HelloSafe

Chart: HelloSafe

Will insurance companies refund their customers?

Under increasing public pressure, Irish motor insurers agreed a discount for policyholders in April.

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However, the report states that drivers should expect more discounts on their premiums in the long run.

The average annual motor insurance premium was €653 at the end of 2019 — which already increased by 35 per cent in 10 years, according to figures from the National Claims Information Database (NCID).

Antoine Fruchard, insurance expert and CEO at HelloSafe said: “With most people stuck at home, their cars have inevitably stayed in the garage. When the lockdown will be over and people will start going out again, the number of cars on the road is likely to increase back at pre-Covid levels.

“However, it is likely that customers will question why they continued to pay such high insurance premiums whilst they weren’t able to drive. It will be interesting to see if all the insurance companies will make more refunds, or which other kind of discount they will offer.”

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