The government has stated that it is seriously concerned over Northern Ireland car insurance rates, according to Mike Penning, Transportation Minister.
Mr Penning spoke made the comment after MPs used a debate in Parliament in order to draw light upon the lack of discount car insurance in Northern Ireland, which is currently being investigated by the Office of Fair Trading. The Transport Minister said that if car insurance companies were found to be in collusion on premium prices, he would ‘come down like a ton of bricks’ to rectify the situation after being told that the average premium in Northern Ireland is 85 per cent higher than in the rest of the nation.
Strangford MP, Jim Shannon, remarked that insurers run the same adverts on TV in the province , yet the small print will invariably read ‘not available in Northern Ireland’ if you look hard enough. Mr Shannon singled out both Churchill and Admiral Group as two of the worst perpetrators of this, sparing particularly angry words for Churchill, with the famous ‘oh, yes’ catchphrase from the insurer simply not seeming to apply to anyone living in Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile, the cost of motoring in the UK is continuing to creep upwards due to a combination of rising premium prices and pain at the petrol pump with increases there as well. Many Brits report being priced completely off the road as a result of rising motoring costs, and younger drivers are hit especially hard because insurers have traditionally seen them as increased crash risks due to their lack of experience and wisdom in motoring, thus charging them much higher premium prices than older, more experienced drivers.