Car insurance works exactly the same in Northern Ireland as it does in the rest of the UK, but can cost significantly more. This means that it is vital to shop around for cheap quotes before purchasing. So why is car insurance in NI more expensive and what can be done about it?
Car Insurance NI – 11% more expensive than the rest of the UK
In August 2011, the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland called for an investigation into motor insurance prices after they rose 73% over 2 years. Previously, the Office for Fair Trading found the average NI car insurance quotes tend to be 11% higher than in the rest of the UK. So why is this happening?
Firstly, Northern Ireland has a relatively young population, which means it has a greater number of higher risk drivers. When you are a young and inexperienced motorist, you are statistically most likely to be involved in an accident and make a car insurance claim.
Secondly, NI also has a high proportion of single carriageway roads. Plus, there is more rural traffic and greater distances travelled per driver – all increasing the risk of accidents and car insurance claims.
Thirdly, there is a difference in legal systems between NI and the rest of the UK. Compensation payouts tend to be much higher, and as a result, insurers have to increase their prices to cover the potential cost of compensation payments.
Lastly, as with the rest of the UK, rising NI car insurance quotes are having the same side-effects, such as an increase in the number of uninsured drivers and personal injury claims. It seems unaffordable car insurance isn’t keeping some motorists from getting behind the wheel. When one of these drivers is involved in an accident, claims payouts have to come out of a central pot paid into by all insurers. The problem is, as the number of law-abiding drivers goes down, so too does the amount that can be paid into that central pot.
The only way for car insurance providers to alleviate this is by putting up the premiums of those who do buy motor insurance to cover the gap, thus creating a vicious cycle as more people are priced out of the market.
So what can be done to bring down your premiums? – Car Insurance NI
As in the rest of the UK, there are things you can do to help bring the cost of protection down:
- As young drivers are hit particularly hard by car insurance, they might consider telematics or box insurance. This is where a GPS-enabled tracking device measures how you drive, and charges you for insurance accordingly. This is ideal for drivers with good driving skills as well as those motorists who do not cover a lot of mileage.
- You’ll earn a No Claims Discount just by driving carefully and sensibly, bringing your premiums down over time.
- By keeping your vehicle parked in a secure location, making it harder to steal should bring your premiums down. Installing insurer-approved alarms and immobilisers will also assist.
- You should always be sure to compare car insurance quotes and switch insurers each year come renewal time. The best deals are reserved for new customers usually, and you will not be rewarded for your loyalty by sticking with the same insurer.
By using these simple steps you should be able to stay on top of your eye-watering car insurance NI premiums.