This 'the year from hell' for car insurance, says AA

Car insurance premiums will jump by at least 30% this year, the AA has predicted, on top of a 20% hike seen to date.

"The AA sells motor insurance as an intermediary and as such, deals extensively with insurance underwriters. With 170,000 Irish motorists insured, the organisation has a detailed understanding of where prices are trending," the company said in a statement.

The AA's director of consumer affairs Conor Faughnan (pictured) said this had been "the year from hell for insurance prices, and its getting worse...We understand some of the reasons but others are less clear.

"We know that there is more traffic on the road which adds to risk but not enough to explain price rises this large.

"We also know that the insurance industry collectively has been charging too little for insurance over a number of years. That was not sustainable and some element of correction is needed.

"But it's not fully clear how much the cost of each individual claim is going up by and this is where insurers need to be more open with their data."

He said the industry was "seriously worried" about an increase in the typical injury award.

“However, it would help everyone to understand that if insurers produced data to prove it. We know of recent individual cases where awards appeared extremely high, but we need more than anecdotes and examples," he said.

Meanwhile, the ongoing problem of fraudulent claims has been adding between €50 and €60 to each individual policy, claims the AA.

"One factor we are sure about is fraud,” said Faughnan. "A tougher stance on the part of the Government is necessary, as well as the enabling of better garda detection resources. It is not fair to expect ordinary motorists to keep paying for the cost of chancers and fraudsters."

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