Car Insurance Ireland: What You Need

Car Insurance in Ireland has increased substantially over the last number of years. However, this year. we are seeing quotes from many insurance brokers stabilise and in some cases come down. Car insurance Ireland is a topic that is sure to be discussed at length in the mainstream media.

In general, when getting a new policy for your car in Ireland, or when renewing your policy, make sure you shop around for the best price.

Get a Car Insurance Quote

Getting a car insurance quote in Ireland is easy. It should not take more than three minutes.

Here are a few key things you should have at the ready when you are getting a car insurance quote.

  • Your registration number.
  • The date of birth for all people you intend putting on the policy.
  • The dates they have passed their test
  • The penalty points (if any) on the licences of those who will be on the policy

Please see full checklist below:

Car Insurance Ireland – Checklist

Car Insurance Ireland – Keep your insurer up to date

It is essential that you inform your car insurer of any relevant changes that have occurred since you took out your policy.

You must inform your insurer if you change your car, If you or another named driver pick up any penalty points or convictions, any changes to your occupation. If you change address or any changes to your health.

You also must inform your insurer If you modify or alter your car. This includes adding body parts.

Car Insurance Ireland – Selling Your Car

If you are selling your car in Ireland simply return your insurance disk to your broker. Some insurance companies will refund you for the remaining duration of your policy. Other companies will not give refunds on a cancelled car insurance policy in the first year of insurance. If you are unsure what refunds you can get, contact your broker.

Changing Your Car

You need to make sure that your insurance policy covers your new car. The easiest way to do this is to send your insurance disk back to your broker and advise them on the details of your new car. You also need to inform them when the transfer of cover is due to take place.

Driving in other countries

An Irish car insurance policy covers you for driving in Europe for 31 days.
Moving to a different Car Insurance Policy in Ireland
Car insurance renewal in Ireland is easy. You can easily move to a cheaper policy instead of renewing with your current provider.

At the very least, you should get a quote from a number of insurance providers before renewing. If you are concerned about the hassle of moving policy, you shouldn’t be. Contact an approved insurance broker that is regulated by the central bank of Ireland. They will help you take out a new insurance policy.

Breakdown Assistance

Many policies offer breakdown assistance. It is always a good idea to read the terms and conditions carefully and ask your broker about the details.

Car Insurance Quote

If you are looking for a car insurance quote in Ireland then simply use our car insurance quote engine. You will be able to compare quotes from multiple insurers. You can also just give us a call on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051. We would be delighted to take you through the entire process.

Strange decision over discriminatory practices by car insurers

Car insurance for EU license holders in Ireland is an important issue, since most of the 12% of non-Irish citizens in Ireland are from EU countries. In principle, drivers from EU countries should expect to be treated equally when it comes to car insurance. It is true that one of the obstacles to overcome for EU citizens is the differences between Irish licences and non-Irish licences. A major difference between a non-Irish driver’s licence and a license issued by the Irish State is the amount of information available to car insurance companies in Ireland.

However, in a recent case that came before Ireland’s Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), a Polish man who has been living in Ireland for over a decade lost his claim against an Irish insurance company. The man holds a full Polish driving licence, and has a no-claims discount of four years in Ireland. Yet when he tried to get insurance in June, he was quoted €942. If he had had an Irish license, he would only have paid €768, and if he had held a UK license, he would only have been charged €760.

The Polish driver challenged the decision of the Irish car insurance company at the WRC, the independent, statutory body established in 2015 under the Workplace Relations Act 2015. His challenge was based on the provisions of the Equal Status Act, Discrimination and Related Activities, Disposal of Goods and Provision of Services.

For some obscure reason, the Commission found that the insurance company had legitimately discriminated against the Polish driver, who has lived and worked – and paid his insurance – for 11 years in Ireland. According to the WRC, EU citizens with non-Irish driving licences can be charged more for insurance. This does not seem fair.

Innovative flood insurance in the Netherlands

With much of the country below sea level, the Netherlands is no stranger to flood risk. In 1953, the country was hit by a devastating flood which claimed almost 2,000 lives. But despite boasting some of the most advanced flood defences in the world, almost two thirds of Dutch homeowners were unable to buy flood insurance for some 60 years after the 1953 floods.

This changed drastically in 2013 when Lloyd’s coverholder Neerlandse started offering flood insurance using an innovative underwriting and risk assessment tool. This insurance product has the backing of the country’s homeowners association, and provides protection for flood damage up to €75,000. Most experts agree that this is more than enough to cover the average damage to a property from a major flood. The policy also covers water damage resulting from a failure of flood defences caused by earthquake or an act of terrorism.

Although the Netherlands is well protected from flood, Dutch underwriters nevertheless had no mechanism that could properly assess and price the risk for individual properties. The Neerlandse online underwriting tool is unique in that homeowners can use the Neerlandse website to find out if their property is at high or low risk of flooding. If the risk is high, homeowners can access information to help them reduce their risk. The underwriting tool combines the flood data from engineers with mapping technology to produce a risk assessment, and to offer homeowners a premium for their property.

There has been considerable debate in the Netherlands, as in Ireland, about flood risk and insurance. The Dutch Association of Insurers proposal that flood insurance be made a compulsory cover has proved unpopular with the public, which views this as an unfair form of taxation.

A spokesperson for Neerlandse claimed that compulsory insurance would have negative implications for risk awareness and mitigation. The Netherlands’ world-beating flood defences could create a misleading sense of security. Neerlandse believes that people need to be made aware of the true levels of risk through transparent information and the cost of their insurance. If insurance were to become compulsory, there would be no incentives for people to understand the risk, nor to take mitigation measures.

Is it fair to compare car insurance costs in other countries?

Is it fair to compare car insurance costs in other countries? Yes and no.

On the one hand, when you compare car insurance costs across the world, it’s tempting to reach the conclusion that car insurance in Ireland is very expensive. On the other hand, every country has its own set of insurance rules. For example, car insurance rates are low in some European countries because so long as you have the right papers and insurance in place, you only have to insure the car alone.

In Ireland we complain because insurance premium hikes are in double digits. Meanwhile, in Ontario consumers complained bitterly when car insurance rates increased an average of 0.60% in the second quarter of 2015.

The lucky residents of the state of Florida are almost unique in the world – their auto insurance premiums for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) are sliding downward. According to recent data, PIP premiums in Florida fell by over 13% following the implementation of a state law which was designed to lower premiums. Since PIP accounts for about a quarter of auto insurance costs overall, drivers in Florida have seen their premiums drop 3-4% since 2012 – compared to rises of over 30% in Ireland in the same period.

Smart Steps to get Cheap Car Insurance

When you receive your car insurance renewal notice, it’s very easy and tempting to just go ahead and pay the premium and stick with the same insurer. That could be a costly mistake, because you might get a much better deal for cheap car insurance by switching car insurance companies.

If you find a premium that beats what you’re currently paying and you decide to change insurer, you need to be careful so you don’t end up with a gap in your cover. Follow these steps to a successful switch.

Shop around. The best time for checking out the prices offered by other insurers are when you move, when you buy a new car, or when you receive your car insurance renewal notice which will be at least 3 weeks before your due date.

Compare Car Insurance Rates Here

You should gather at least three different quotes. You will also want to know what is covered and what extras are included in a possible new policy. If you would prefer somebody do this research for you, Click here for an online quotation which checks the prices from at least 10 different insurance companies in Ireland.

The next step is to contact your current insurer who may be may be willing to fight to keep your business! It’s amazing how quickly some insurers offer competitive discounts when you threaten to leave. Many companies will try to match or beat a rival’s quote.

While you are talking to your current insurer check that you are getting all of the discounts you are entitled to. For example, you might qualify for discounts if you have another policy with the company, such as a second car, a van or your home insurance.

If you ultimately decide to move insurer, do consider taking all of your business with you. That way you will bet your new insurer’s multi-policy discount

Can switching car insurance cost you?

If you decide that changing your insurer is the right option for you then you need to find out if there are any penalties for cancelling your car insurance policy mid-term. This is very important if it is your first year with an insurer. Many insurers in Ireland charge “short period rates” if you cancel your policy before it expires at renewal date. Short period rates = expensive! So, if you are cancelling in the middle of the term, it is wise to check with your insurer to see whether you will get a full pro-rata refund or whether they will be charging you short period rates.

Investigate the new company. Check out an insurer thoroughly before signing on. Typically people go to the Ombudsman with complaints because of claims payments. You want to be sure other people are happy with the way they resolve complaints. You want to know if your claim is going to be paid. Is it going to be paid quickly or not? Is this an insurer that is likely to say it’s your fault if you’re in an accident?

Health Warning: Don’t sign on with an insurer just because it offers the lowest price. Some insurers offer great rates but sorry claims service.

Mind the gap. You want to make sure that there will be no gap in coverage as you change insurers. Don’t cancel your insurance before you have your new policy in place. It is a good idea to have something in writing from your new company before communicating your intentions to the old one.

Remember that there are no days of grace with a motor insurance policy. You must ensure that your new insurance policy starts before the old policy lapses automatically at renewal date. A lapse in insurance cover could lead to serious legal and financial challenges for you if you have an accident.

Open Driving vs Driving Other Cars

The Difference between Open Driving and Driving Other Cars

There seems to be quite a bit of confusion between “open driving policies” and a car insurance policy which allows driving other cars. I will attempt to explain both so that the differences become clear.

Open Drive means that a person can drive a car with the permission of the car owner. It is a really useful addition to have on your policy. Say you have relations visiting from overseas – they can hop in your car to run an errand or sight-see. The cover your have on your car insurance policy will apply to all drivers of your car, so if they have a tip and you have comprehensive cover, the damage will be insured under your policy. This could of course affect your no claims bonus so you should consider the driving ability of the person before you hand over the keys to the car.

There are different types of open driving. Full open driving is the widest type and means that anybody can drive your car with your permission as long as they have a driving license. Restricted open driving is normally like full open driving but between certain ages – normally 25 and 70 years of age. Sometimes, restricted open driving can also specify that the driver must have a full license or even a full European license.

Driving Other Cars is very different. If you, as a car owner and therefore a car insurance policyholder, have a Driving Other Cars extension (and most car insurance policies have this extension) it means that you can drive a car belonging to another person, with their permission of course. If you have an accident while driving this car, your own car insurance policy will cover the third party element of the claim and even the own damage element of the claim if the extension is “Comprehensive Driving Other Cars”. So from your point of view, it is better to be named on a policy when driving a car that belongs to somebody else rather than depending on your driving other cars extension from your own car insurance policy.

Is NoNonsense.ie really MORE nonsense than a Standard Policy?

Contrast a Quote from Nononsense.ie with a Quote from QuoteMe.ie

We were intrigued with the concept of building your own car insurance policy. Whether you really can get a cheaper car insurance quote by building your own, custom made car insurance policy. So we tried it.

Customer Details: Accountant working in Accountancy Practice, aged 37, full Irish license, 4 penalty points, full bonus driving a 2014 Toyota Yaris 1.0 Iona valued €10K, living in Louth and using the vehicle for social, pleasure & domestic as well as commuting to work.

No nonsense quotation for comprehensive cover including full bonus protection and a policy excess of €300 is €464.85.

QuoteMe.ie quotation for comprehensive cover including full bonus protection and a policy excess of €250 is only €390. Already €74 cheaper than the quote provided by No nonsense.

But the differences don’t stop there! Full bonus protection from QuoteMe.ie means that you may have 1 unlimited claim during your year of insurance and your bonus remains intact. Full bonus protection from No nonsense means that you can have 1 claim with no more than €10,000 paid out in order to maintain your no claims bonus. This is a major difference between the two protected no claims bonus features. When people are injured in car accidents, the amount of the claim starts to accumulate very quickly. If you want to protect your no claims bonus, you need the protection offered by QuoteMe.ie.

No nonsense Build your own

We then tested the “Build your own” car insurance policy on the No nonsense website using the same details. The first thing we noticed that the cover automatically reduced down to TPO and featured a price of €307.40. The price is highlighted and is very low. However, this is only providing you with the absolute minimum cover to legally drive on the road. We clicked on the comprehensive button and the basic price increased to €399.76. So the price is already nearly €10 more expensive than the price offered by QuoteMe.ie and this is before we add on the features that we may want. To add on step back no claims discount protection, add €33.69 or “full” protection (which we have already pointed out is inferior to that offered by QuoteMe.ie) add €63.18. To include driving other cars add €10.50, breakdown assistance adds €26.25 and to reduce your policy excess to €250 add another €9.24.

car insurance
Comparison Nononsense.ie with Quoteme.ie

Summary

When we add all of the features to the basic No nonsense price, we end up with a premium of €508.93. Significantly more expensive than the price offered by QuoteMe.ie and inferior full bonus protection cover offered by No nonsense.

Quotations done on June 12, 2014