The price of motor car insurance throughout Northern Ireland has rocketed by nearly 73 per cent over the past two years, according to official figures. Premium prices for younger motorists were particularly high, as they more than doubled from their already high 2009 rates.
The Council will be petitioning the Office of Fair Trading for the ability to conduct an examination of the car insurance market in Northern Ireland. It has invited the region’s consumers to voice their opinion by signing an online petition to that end.
Those motorists who go out of their way to sign the petition will be given the opportunity to tell their own tales in regards to their car insurance purchasing experiences. These stories will be submitted to the OFT in conjunction with the petition, the Consumer Council states.
The Justice Committee for the Northern Ireland Assembly will also be hearing from the Council, as the consumer watchdog will be demanding a full and exhaustive examination of how much of the premium price increases have been driven by car accident claim costs.
Antoinette McKeown, chief executive of the Council, stated that average annual premium prices in Northern Ireland are now nearly £924. The watchdog group is concerned that some people could have no alternative but to give up driving altogether due to not only high premiums but also the rising cost of fuel as well, added Ms McKeown, or even worse lead to rising numbers of motorists making the decision to drive without insurance.