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Car Insurance - Ireland - May 2019

Covered in this report

This report analyses the private car insurance market in NI (Northern Ireland) and RoI (Republic of Ireland). This includes an analysis of the main drivers impacting upon the sector, together with an assessment of the size and direction of the market. In addition, drawing on extensive consumer research (Toluna, February 2019), this report analyses the level of ownership of car insurance among Irish consumers, the type of insurance owned, the main providers of insurance to Irish consumers, the channels used to purchase car insurance, renewal behaviour, and general attitudes towards car insurance and car insurers.

"Despite reductions in premiums, the cost of car insurance both for NI and RoI motorists remains high by historical standards. As a result, consumers have a heightened focus on doing whatever they can to get the cheapest possible premium. This may herald a period of more sensitive price-awareness among consumers."
– Brian O’Connor, Senior Consumer Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Issues covered in this Report
        • Definitions
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Figure 1: Gross written premiums, private motor insurance, IoI, RoI and NI, 2014-19
            • Forecast
              • Figure 2: Gross written premiums, private motor insurance index, NI and RoI, 2014-23
            • Market factors
              • Car insurance premiums in UK increasing but below recent highs
                • RoI insurance premiums down 6% in year ending March 2019
                  • Majority of Irish consumers own their own cars – mostly second-hand
                    • A quarter of consumers could easily handle higher car insurance premiums
                      • Companies and brands
                        • The consumer
                          • Majority of motorists in Ireland have fully comprehensive car insurance
                            • Figure 3: Types of car insurance owned, NI and RoI, February 2019
                          • AXA the clear leader in NI with 20% market share
                            • Figure 4: Providers that consumers currently have their car insurance with, NI, February 2019
                          • Aviva and AXA joint leaders in RoI market
                            • Figure 5: Providers that consumers currently have their car insurance with, RoI, February 2019
                          • Most Irish consumers buying motor cover via online channels
                            • Figure 6: Methods used to purchase current car insurance policy, NI and RoI, February 2019
                          • Majority of Irish consumers shop around at car insurance renewal time
                            • Figure 7: Car insurance renewal behaviour, NI and RoI, February 2019
                          • Consumers keen to act to reduce premiums as far as possible
                            • Figure 8: Attitudes towards car insurance, NI and RoI, February 2019
                          • What it means
                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                            • UK motor premiums on the up, but still below recent peak
                              • Premiums in RoI down almost 6% in 12 months to end Q1 2019
                                • Seven in 10 Irish consumers own their own cars – primarily second-hand
                                  • Around one in four consumers could absorb higher car insurance premiums
                                  • Market Size and Forecast

                                      • Value of motor insurance market in Ireland tops €2 billion in 2019
                                        • Figure 9: Gross written premiums, private motor insurance, IoI, RoI and NI, 2014-23
                                      • Pace of growth expected to moderate somewhat in coming years
                                        • Figure 10: Gross written premiums, private motor insurance index, NI and RoI, 2014-23
                                    • Market Drivers

                                      • UK (including NI) premiums edging upwards, but below mid-2017 highs
                                        • Figure 11: Car insurance premiums, comprehensive cover, average, UK (including NI), 2016-18
                                      • Car insurance in NI among most expensive in UK
                                        • Figure 12: Car insurance premiums, average, by region, UK (including NI), Q4 2018
                                      • Motorists aged 17-22 paying premiums of more than £1,300
                                        • Figure 13: Car insurance premiums, average, by age, UK (including NI), Q4 2018
                                      • RoI insurance premiums down 6% during 12 months ending Q1 2019
                                        • Figure 14: Private motor insurance premiums index, RoI, March 2009-March 2019
                                      • Car ownership at seven in 10 consumers across Ireland
                                        • Figure 15: Car ownership, NI and RoI, February 2019
                                      • Increase in number of consumers driving new cars
                                        • Figure 16: Details of car ownership, NI and RoI, February 2019
                                      • Quarter of consumers could comfortably cover higher premiums
                                        • Figure 17: Consumers’ assessment of own financial situation, NI and RoI, March 2019
                                    • Companies and Brands – What You Need To Know

                                      • Telematics box policies beginning to become more widely available
                                        • Irish insurers may feel that high premiums justified
                                          • Brexit-risks affecting operators in UK and Ireland
                                            • Technology-focussed future for car insurance seems likely in Ireland
                                            • Who’s Innovating?

                                              • By Miles raises funding to improve customer service
                                                • Electric Vehicle insurance policies becoming more relevant in UK and Ireland
                                                  • New purpose-built insurance innovation centre to open in 2020
                                                    • Valeo investing in Research and Development in Tuam
                                                    • Companies and Brands

                                                        • Abbey Insurance Brokers (NI Only)
                                                          • Key facts
                                                            • Product portfolio
                                                              • Recent developments
                                                                • Admiral
                                                                  • Key facts
                                                                    • Product portfolio
                                                                      • Recent developments
                                                                        • Allianz
                                                                          • Key facts
                                                                            • Product portfolio
                                                                              • Recent developments
                                                                                • Allied Irish Bank
                                                                                  • Key facts
                                                                                    • Product portfolio
                                                                                      • Aviva
                                                                                        • Key facts
                                                                                          • Product portfolio
                                                                                            • Recent developments
                                                                                              • AXA
                                                                                                • Key facts
                                                                                                  • Product portfolio
                                                                                                    • Recent developments
                                                                                                      • Bank of Ireland
                                                                                                        • Key facts
                                                                                                          • Product portfolio
                                                                                                            • Direct Line Group
                                                                                                              • Key facts
                                                                                                                • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                  • Recent developments
                                                                                                                    • FBD
                                                                                                                      • Key facts
                                                                                                                        • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                          • Recent developments
                                                                                                                            • Liberty Insurance
                                                                                                                              • Key facts
                                                                                                                                • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                                  • Recent developments
                                                                                                                                    • One Direct (Ireland) Ltd.
                                                                                                                                      • Key facts
                                                                                                                                        • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                                          • Ulster Bank
                                                                                                                                            • Key facts
                                                                                                                                              • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                                                • Zurich Insurance Group
                                                                                                                                                  • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                    • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                                                      • Recent developments
                                                                                                                                                        • 123.ie (RSA Insurance)
                                                                                                                                                          • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                            • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                                                              • Recent developments
                                                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                                • Most Irish motorists hold fully comprehensive motor insurance
                                                                                                                                                                  • AXA leading NI car insurance market with 20% share, while RoI sees Aviva and AXA vie for control
                                                                                                                                                                    • More than half of all car insurance policies purchased online
                                                                                                                                                                      • Most consumers shop around for better deals at renewal point
                                                                                                                                                                        • Consumers willing to play part in bringing down cost of cover
                                                                                                                                                                        • Type of Car Insurance Owned

                                                                                                                                                                            • Most Irish motorists have fully comprehensive car insurance
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 18: Types of car insurance owned, NI and RoI, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                            • Ownership of fully comprehensive cover increases with age
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 19: Ownership of fully comprehensive car insurance, by gender and age, NI and RoI, January 2019
                                                                                                                                                                            • High earners more likely to have fully comprehensive cover
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 20: Ownership of fully comprehensive car insurance, by social class and gross annual household income, NI and RoI, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                          • Preferred Insurance Providers

                                                                                                                                                                              • AXA the main provider in fragmented NI market
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 21: Providers that consumers currently have their car insurance with, NI, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                              • AXA especially popular among C2DEFs and younger consumers in NI
                                                                                                                                                                                • Aviva and AXA share top spot in RoI car insurance market
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 22: Providers that consumers currently have their car insurance with, RoI, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                • Aviva and AXA strongest among C2DEFs, Allianz strongest among ABC1s in RoI
                                                                                                                                                                                • Methods Used to Purchase Policy

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Majority of consumers now purchasing motor insurance online
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Methods used to purchase current car insurance policy, NI and RoI, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Continuing shift towards greater online use when arranging car insurance
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 24: Methods used to purchase current car insurance policy, NI, 2016 and 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Consumers aged 25-54 purchasing online, directly from insurer
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 25: Consumers who purchased current car insurance policy online – directly through the insurance provider, by age group, NI and RoI, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Women and consumers aged 45+ most likely to purchase by telephone
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 26: Consumers who purchased current car insurance policy over the phone, by gender and age, NI and RoI, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Renewal Behaviour

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Around seven in 10 shopped around at time of last renewal
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 27: Car insurance renewal behaviour, NI and RoI, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                      • C2DEFs and low-income households most likely to not shop around
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 28: Consumers who stayed with their current insurer without shopping around, by social class and gross annual household income, NI and RoI, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Tendency to shop around but remain increases with age
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 29: Consumers who stayed with their existing insurer but only after shopping around, by age, NI and RoI, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Higher-income consumers most likely to switch insurers
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Consumers who switched to a different insurer, by gross annual household income, NI and RoI, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Attitudes towards Car Insurance

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Strong consumer focus on getting lowest-possible premiums
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 31: Attitudes towards car insurance, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Consumers open to using technology to reduce costs
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 32: Attitudes towards tech-related aspects of car insurance, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                        • More than two thirds have confidence in claims process
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 33: Attitudes towards claims-related aspects of car insurance, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Practical measures taken to keep premiums as low as possible
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Attitudes towards price/premiums-related aspects of car insurance, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Evidence of frustration over lack of transparency and control
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 35: Attitudes towards information/control-related aspects of car insurance, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Data sources
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Abbreviations

                                                                                                                                                                                          Car Insurance - Ireland - May 2019

                                                                                                                                                                                          US $1,400.83 (Excl.Tax)