A new survey by CompareNI.com has found that 25% of all NI drivers have reconsidered driving as a result of high insurance prices. The survey asked drivers in Northern Ireland about their experience with rising motoring costs during the cost-of-living crisis. According to the survey 82% of people said their car insurance was more expensive this year, with 68% of those people stating they had no change in circumstances. A fifth of those surveyed (20%) said the cost had increased by over £100.
One reason for those increases is the real rate of UK inflation, which is way above the official Government figures. Food prices have almost doubled in some cases over the last 12-18 months. Energy prices, despite the winter subsidy, remain high. Rents and mortages are going up. All that means that insurance brands have to pay higher wages to retain staff, and pay partners and suppliers more money, especially when it comes to claims. It also costs more to process many hybrid and EV car claims, due to the complexity of their sensor systems and the scarcity of parts.
According to Compare NI a quarter of those surveyed (25%) said that the cost of insurance had made them reconsider driving altogether. Assuming you are working from home, have no children to ferry around and live close to shops, that may well be an option.
Commenting on the findings, Managing Director of CompareNI.com Ian Wilson said: “It’s shocking to see the rising cost of car insurance in Northern Ireland is actually starting to put people off driving. The soaring cost of repairs, parts and even hire cars, has all had a knock-on effect on premium price. The volume of claims is also increasing, most likely due to the cost-of-living crisis as drivers struggle to pay for smaller claims themselves. We’ve noticed a surge in the volume of customers to our site since the start of the year, up nearly 50% on this time last year as people hunt for savings.
“While aiming to secure cost-effective insurance, it’s crucial for drivers to ensure they’re not compromising on protection in case of accidents or unforeseen circumstances. Often there’s very little difference in price between third party cover and fully comprehensive, so if you can, it’s best to safeguard your finances and go fully comprehensive.
“There are always ways to save and using our comparison site is an ideal platform to compare products, to make sure you’re getting the cover you need, at a price you can afford.”