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Car Insurance - Ireland - May 2015

“The legal obligation to have car insurance has enabled the Irish car insurance sector to emerge relatively unscathed from the recent economic downturn. However, it also impacts upon the way in which Irish consumers perceive both the product and the providers. Obligatory purchases often become grudge purchases, which, in turn, can lead to an excessive focus on price alone. When comparing products, there is a tendency for consumers to do so on the basis of price, invariably to the detriment of other – often more important – factors, such as the quality of the cover.”
– Brian O’Connor, Senior Consumer Analyst

This report answers the following key questions:

  • What are the main channels to market for car insurance?
  • What has been Irish consumers' overall experience of car insurers?
  • What factors influence consumers when choosing policies?

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Key themes in the report
        • Data sources
          • Market size rationale
            • Definitions
              • Abbreviations
              • Executive Summary

                  • The market
                    • Figure 1: Total value of gross written premiums, private motor insurance, NI and RoI, 2010-15
                  • Forecast
                    • Figure 2: Index of gross written premiums, private motor insurance, RoI and NI, 2010-20
                  • Market factors
                    • Motor insurance premiums set to increase in 2015
                      • Cash-strapped consumers not in a position to pay higher premiums
                        • Fraudulent claims remains a major problem for car insurers
                          • Car ownership in Ireland is high – and getting higher
                            • The consumer
                              • Most motorists have fully comprehensive insurance cover
                                • Figure 3: Type of car insurance consumers currently have on main car, RoI and NI, March 2015
                              • AXA leads the way in both NI and RoI
                                • Figure 4: Current provider of car insurance on main vehicle owned, NI, March 2015
                                • Figure 5: Current provider of car insurance on main vehicle owned, RoI, March 2015
                              • Real scope to grow price comparison sales in both NI and RoI
                                • Figure 6: Method used to purchase the current insurance policy for main vehicle, NI and RoI, March 2015
                              • Most consumers shop around at renewal time, but most still stick with existing insurer
                                • Figure 7: Motor insurance renewal behaviour, NI and RoI, March 2015
                              • Seven in 10 consumers focused on cost when choosing car insurance policy
                                • Figure 8: Agreement with statements relating to car insurance and car insurers, NI and RoI, March 2015
                              • What we think
                              • Issues and Insights

                                • What are the main channels to market for car insurance?
                                  • The facts
                                    • The implications
                                      • What has been Irish consumers' overall experience of car insurers?
                                        • The facts
                                          • The implications
                                            • What factors influence consumers when choosing policies?
                                              • The facts
                                                • The implications
                                                • Market Overview

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • UK (including NI) premiums down during first three months of 2015
                                                      • Figure 9: Average motor insurance premiums, comprehensive and TPFT, UK (including NI), Q1 2014 AND Q1 2015
                                                      • Figure 10: Average motor insurance premiums, comprehensive, UK (including NI), Q1 2010-Q1 2015
                                                      • Figure 11: Average motor insurance premiums, by age, UK (including NI), Q1 2015
                                                    • NI motorists paying heavily for car insurance
                                                      • Figure 12: Average motor insurance premiums, by region, UK (including NI), Q1 2015
                                                    • Further increases expected in RoI motor insurance premiums
                                                      • Premiums higher for men than women in RoI
                                                        • Only a minority could easily afford an increase in premiums
                                                          • Figure 13: How consumers rate their current financial situation, NI and RoI, March 2015
                                                        • Fraud and exaggerated claims remain a problem for Irish insurers
                                                          • Growth due in part to tolerance of fraudulent claims among some consumers
                                                            • Around three quarters of Irish consumers own a car
                                                              • Figure 14: Ownership of a car, NI and RoI, March 2015
                                                            • Rate of car ownership higher in NI than elsewhere in UK
                                                              • Figure 15: Number of households with access to a car or van, NI, 2010-14
                                                              • Figure 16: Private and light goods vehicles per 1,000 of population, aged 17 and over, NI and GB, 2003-13
                                                              • Figure 17: Private and light goods vehicles, by year of first registration, NI and GB, 2014
                                                            • Return to growth in number of vehicles on the road
                                                              • Figure 18: New and second-hand private cars licensed for the first time, 000s, RoI, 2000-14
                                                              • Figure 19: Motor vehicles licensed for the first time, by category, RoI, 2014
                                                              • Figure 20: Number of private cars on the road, RoI, 2000-13
                                                              • Figure 21: Number of licensed vehicles, NI, 2003-13
                                                              • Figure 22: Vehicles registered for the first time, by type, NI, 2013
                                                            • Car usage declined during recession, but increasing again
                                                              • Figure 23: Number of kilometres travelled, billions, by private cars, RoI, 2000-13
                                                            • Number of accidents on Irish roads remains high
                                                              • Figure 24: Road traffic collisions resulting in fatalities and serious injuries, RoI, 2005-12
                                                              • Figure 25: Reported road traffic injury collisions per 10,000 vehicles, NI, England, Scotland and Wales, 2005-13
                                                            • Proportion of over-55s to grow in coming years
                                                              • Figure 26: Population, by age, NI, 2011 and 2026
                                                              • Figure 27: Population, by age, RoI, 2011 and 2026
                                                          • Market Size and Forecast

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Gross written premiums to top €1.4 billion in 2015
                                                                • Figure 28: Gross written premiums, private motor insurance, IoI, RoI and NI, 2010-20
                                                              • After static five years, growth expected to return to Irish market in 2015
                                                                • Motor insurance industry set for period of sustained growth
                                                                  • Figure 29: Index of gross written premiums, private motor insurance, RoI and NI, 2010-20
                                                              • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                                • Strengths
                                                                  • Weaknesses
                                                                  • Companies and Innovations

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Innovations
                                                                        • Dutch insurer innovates with new car insurance plug-in dubbed as Fairzekering
                                                                          • Carrot partners with Fiat UK to launch innovative new package for young drivers
                                                                            • Company profiles
                                                                              • Insurance providers
                                                                                • Admiral Group Plc
                                                                                  • Allianz Group Plc.
                                                                                    • An Post (One Direct)
                                                                                      • AXA Group
                                                                                        • Direct Line Group
                                                                                          • FBD
                                                                                            • Liberty Insurance
                                                                                              • Open and Direct Insurance
                                                                                                • RSA Insurance Ireland
                                                                                                  • Zurich
                                                                                                    • Retailer insurance providers
                                                                                                      • Asda
                                                                                                        • Tesco
                                                                                                          • Banks and building societies
                                                                                                            • Allied Irish Bank (AIB)
                                                                                                              • Bank of Ireland
                                                                                                                • Danske Bank
                                                                                                                  • Ulster Bank
                                                                                                                  • The Consumer – Type of Car Insurance Owned

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Universal ownership of car insurance among motorists
                                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Type of car insurance consumers currently have on main car, RoI and NI, March 2015
                                                                                                                      • Fully comprehensive policies most popular among Irish consumers
                                                                                                                        • Over-55s most likely to opt for fully comprehensive policies
                                                                                                                          • Figure 31: Consumers who have fully comprehensive car insurance on main car, by age, NI and RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                        • Third party cover particularly popular among younger motorists
                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Consumers who have third party or third party, fire and theft insurance on main car, by age, RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                          • Car monitoring technology yet to take off among Irish consumers
                                                                                                                          • The Consumer – Current Provider of Car Insurance

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • AXA the clear leader in the NI motor insurance market
                                                                                                                                • Figure 33: Current provider of car insurance on main vehicle owned, NI, March 2015
                                                                                                                              • AXA most popular among women, C2DEFs and younger consumers
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Consumers whose current provider of car insurance on main vehicle is AXA, by age, gender and social class, NI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                • AXA leads RoI market, but with stronger competition
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Current provider of car insurance on main vehicle owned, RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                  • As in NI, AXA strongest in RoI among women, C2DEFs and younger consumers
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 36: Consumers whose current provider of car insurance on main vehicle is AXA, by age, gender and social class, RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                    • Aviva has balanced appeal across demographics in RoI
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Consumers whose current provider of car insurance on main vehicle is Aviva, by age, gender and social class, RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                    • Allianz peaks in popularity among consumers aged 25-34
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 38: Consumers whose current provider of car insurance on main vehicle is Allianz, by age, gender and social class, RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                    • RSA the popular choice for ABC1 males
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 39: Consumers whose current provider of car insurance on main vehicle is RSA, by age, gender and social class, RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                  • The Consumer – Methods of Purchasing Car Insurance

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • More than four in 10 motor policies arranged online
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Method used to purchase the current insurance policy for main vehicle, NI and RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                      • ABC1s and men most inclined to buy online direct from the insurer
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Consumers who purchased their current insurance policy for their main vehicle directly through their insurance provider online, by gender, age and social class, RoI and NI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                      • Price comparison websites more mainstream in NI than in RoI
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Consumers who purchased their current insurance policy for their main vehicle online through a price comparison website, by gender, age and social class, RoI and NI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                        • Consumers aged 45-54 and C2FEFs most likely to purchase in person
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Consumers who purchased their current insurance policy for their main vehicle face to face/in a branch, by gender, age and social class, RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                        • Over-55s, women and C2DEFs most inclined to purchase by phone
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 44: Consumers who purchased their current insurance policy for their main vehicle directly over the phone, by gender, age and social class, RoI and NI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                      • The Consumer – Renewal Behaviour

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Over three quarters of consumers shopped around at last renewal
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 45: Motor insurance renewal behaviour, NI and RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                          • Younger consumers most likely to have switched provider
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 46: Consumers who switched to a different insurer at last renewal, by age and gender, NI and RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                            • Having shopped around or not, most stay with existing insurer
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Consumers who stayed with their insurer and didn't shop around at last renewal, by gender and social class, NI and RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                          • The Consumer – Attitudes towards Motor Insurance

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Cost of insurance weighs heavily on consumers' minds
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Agreement with statements relating to car insurance and car insurers, NI and RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                • Majority want input into the composition of their cover
                                                                                                                                                  • No real loyalty to traditional insurers evident among Irish motorists
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Agreement with the statement 'I would be willing to take out insurance with a non-traditional provider (eg supermarket/post office) in the future’, by age, gender and social class, RoI and NI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                    • Half of all motorists would prefer to deal with a locally based insurer
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Agreement with statement 'I would prefer to deal with an insurer with a branch based in my local area', by age, gender and social class, NI and RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                    • Importance of insurance broadly recognised by Irish motorists
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 51: Agreement with the statement 'I would not choose to purchase car insurance if it was not a legal requirement', by age, gender and social class, NI and RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                    • Reputational issues continue to dog the car insurance market
                                                                                                                                                      • Lack of trust highest among men and ABC1s
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 52: Agreement with the statement 'I do not trust car insurance companies to pay out fairly in the event of a claim', by age, gender and social class, NI and RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                      • Doubts about value highest among ABC1s and younger consumers
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 53: Agreement with the statement 'Most car insurance policies provide good value for money', by age, gender and social class, NI and RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                        • Only a minority feel that loyalty is rewarded by car insurance providers
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 54: Agreement with the statement 'Insurance providers adequately reward loyalty (eg lower premiums)', by age, gender and social class, NI and RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                        • Drivers more likely to have positive experience with insurers
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 55: Agreement with statement 'I have had good experience making a car insurance claim’, NI and RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 56: Agreement with statement 'I have had an unsatisfactory experience making a car insurance claim’, NI and RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix

                                                                                                                                                          • NI Toluna data
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 57: Type of car insurance consumers currently have on main car, by demographics, NI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 58: Current provider of car insurance on main vehicle owned, by demographics, NI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 59: Current provider of car insurance on main vehicle owned, by demographics, NI, March 2015 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 60: Current provider of car insurance on main vehicle owned, by demographics, NI, March 2015 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 61: Method used to purchase the current insurance policy for main vehicle, by demographics, NI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 62: Method used to purchase the current insurance policy for main vehicle, by demographics, NI, March 2015 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 63: If consumers stayed with their insurer last time they had to renew their policy, by demographics, NI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 64: Agreement with the statement ‘I would not choose to purchase car insurance if it was not a legal requirement’, by demographics, NI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 65: Agreement with the statement ‘Most car insurance policies provide good value for money’, by demographics, NI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 66: Agreement with the statement ‘The cost of premiums is the most important factor when deciding which car insurance policy to choose’, by demographics, NI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 67: Agreement with the statement ‘I do not trust car insurance companies to pay out fairly in the event of a claim’, by demographics, NI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 68: Agreement with the statement ‘I would prefer to have the flexibility to choose from a range of cover options (eg policies, ‘add-ons’ etc) rather than policies designed specifically by insurers’, by demographics, NI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 69: Agreement with the statement ‘I have had an unsatisfactory experience of making a car insurance claim’, by demographics, NI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 70: Agreement with the statement ‘I have had a good experience making a car insurance claim’, by demographics, NI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 71: Agreement with the statement ‘For small accidents/ damage I would prefer not to make a claim ’, by demographics, NI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 72: Agreement with the statement ‘I would prefer to deal with an insurer with a branch based in my local area’, by demographics, NI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 73: Agreement with the statement ‘I would be willing to take out insurance for a longer period of time (eg 18-month policy) if the cost was lower’, by demographics, NI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 74: Agreement with the statement ‘I would be willing to take out my insurance with a non-traditional provider (eg supermarket/ post office) in the future’, by demographics, NI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 75: Agreement with the statement ‘Insurance providers adequately reward loyalty (eg lower premiums)’, by demographics, NI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 76: Agreement with the statement ‘I would like clearer information on what will affect my premium’, by demographics, NI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                          • RoI Toluna data
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 77: Type of car insurance consumers currently have on main car, by demographics, RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 78: Current provider of car insurance on main vehicle owned, by demographics, RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 79: Current provider of car insurance on main vehicle owned, by demographics, RoI, March 2015 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 80: Current provider of car insurance on main vehicle owned, by demographics, RoI, March 2015 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 81: Method used to purchase the current insurance policy for main vehicle, by demographics, RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 82: Method used to purchase the current insurance policy for main vehicle, by demographics, RoI, March 2015 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 83: If consumers stayed with their insurer last time they had to renew their policy, by demographics, RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 84: Agreement with the statement ‘I would not choose to purchase car insurance if it was not a legal requirement’, by demographics, RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 85: Agreement with the statement ‘Most car insurance policies provide good value for money’, by demographics, RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 86: Agreement with the statement ‘The cost of premiums is the most important factor when deciding which car insurance policy to choose’, by demographics, RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 87: Agreement with the statement ‘I do not trust car insurance companies to pay out fairly in the event of a claim’, by demographics, RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 88: Agreement with the statement ‘I would prefer to have the flexibility to choose from a range of cover options (eg policies, ‘add-ons’ etc) rather than policies designed specifically by insurers’, by demographics, RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 89: Agreement with the statement ‘I have had an unsatisfactory experience of making a car insurance claim’, by demographics, RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 90: Agreement with the statement ‘I have had a good experience making a car insurance claim’, by demographics, RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 91: Agreement with the statement ‘For small accidents/damage I would prefer not to make a claim’, by demographics, RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 92: Agreement with the statement ‘I would prefer to deal with an insurer with a branch based in my local area’, by demographics, RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 93: Agreement with the statement ‘I would be willing to take out insurance for a longer period of time (eg 18-month policy) if the cost was lower’, by demographics, RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 94: Agreement with the statement ‘I would be willing to take out my insurance with a non-traditional provider (eg supermarket/post office) in the future’, by demographics, RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 95: Agreement with the statement ‘Insurance providers adequately reward loyalty (eg lower premiums)’, by demographics, RoI, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 96: Agreement with the statement ‘I would like clearer information on what will affect my premium’, by demographics, RoI, March 2015

                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                        To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                        Car Insurance - Ireland - May 2015

                                                                                                                                                        US $1,466.97 (Excl.Tax)