Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has said that advice to shop around being given to senior citizens is becoming meaningless as estimates coming from motor insurance companies are sky rocketing in price.
The Sinn Féin TD said that many senior citizens advocacy services are inundated with calls querying increases in motor insurance but unfortunately no insurance company would appear to be senior citizen friendly and quoting an astronomical price.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“Official Governments Ministers advice to hard pressed motorists regarding motor insurance is to shop around, but this is becoming difficult as the quotes from insurance companies have sky rocketed. Senior citizens who have been in contact with my constituency office have produced quotes that involve increases of €200 for a year’s insurance.
“I am informed that many senior citizens advocacy services are inundated this year with calls querying increases in motor insurance, but unfortunately no insurance company would appear to be senior citizen friendly regardless of their road safety record.
“A €200 increase is a huge jump for anyone, but for a senior citizen it can be the difference in staying on the road, or depending on where you live, becoming reliant on an erratic public transport system.
“Transport access is crucial for many older citizens and can be the difference in their quality of life, breaks down isolation, and facilitates an independent lifestyle.
“Clearly the Government’s advice of shopping around isn’t delivering for many motorists with younger and older motorists carrying the heaviest burden.
“Ministers would appear to be happy to let this continue as there has been no attempt to tackle insurance costs or take on the industry.
“Insurance companies cite fraud and high claims but many of their claims don’t add up. The elephant in the room when it comes to insurance increases has been the business model of the insurers who are facing less profitability in their outside investments and piling it on the customers’ premiums.
“The provision of raw data from the industry would be one crucial way to improve better transparency and which in turn would inevitably lead to better outcomes for drivers. As well as making this data available for analysis insurers need to be compelled to notify and provide detailed information to customers to why they are actually facing huge increases. Customers have a right to know the rationale behind the decision to increase and one sector young or older is being penalised purely because of their age and nothing to with their driving or safety record.
“Clearly the glib advice of shop around is not delivering for senior citizens in today’s motor insurance market.”