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Ireland Car Insurance Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Car Insurance market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Issues covered in this Report

This Report analyses the private car insurance market in NI and RoI. 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, January 2018), 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 purchasing process, renewal behaviour, and general attitudes towards car insurance and car insurers.

Definitions

Motor insurance includes cover for motor vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, vans, etc. This includes the following types:

  • Third party – covers liability for injuries to other people (including passengers), damage to other people’s property, liability of passengers for accidents caused by them, and liability arising from use of a caravan or trailer.
  • Third party, fire & theft – as above plus cover for fire damage and theft of vehicle.
  • Comprehensive – is the most popular form of motor insurance and includes protection of the policyholder’s vehicle in addition to the cover available through a third party, fire & theft policy. Policies may also offer additional benefits such as medical expenses and legal costs.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Brian O'Connor, a leading analyst in the Automotive sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Even though motor insurance premiums have largely moderated in NI and declined quite significantly in RoI over the past 12 months, the cost of car insurance remains far higher than it was even four or five years ago. RoI consumers, in particular, are unhappy with the cost of their car insurance. With loyalty towards car insurers already low, the environment is ripe for increased shopping around and switching activity. 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, €m, IoI, RoI and NI, 2013-18
            • Forecast
              • Figure 2: Indexed gross written premiums, private motor insurance index, RoI and NI, 2013-22
            • Market factors
              • Motor insurance premiums down in UK overall, but up in NI
                • Premiums in RoI down significantly 2017-18, but still historically high
                  • Broad optimism among NI and, especially, RoI consumers
                    • Over a quarter of Irish consumers could absorb higher premiums
                      • Companies and Brands
                        • The consumer
                          • 99% of motorists have car insurance, just 1% do not
                            • Figure 3: Ownership of car insurance, NI and RoI, January 2018
                          • AXA the market leader both in NI and RoI car insurance markets
                            • Figure 4: Insurance providers that motorists currently have car insurance with, NI, January 2018
                            • Figure 5: Insurance providers that motorists currently have car insurance with, RoI, January 2018
                          • Online via insurer now the single-most popular channel
                            • Figure 6: Method used to purchase current car insurance policy, RoI and NI, January 2018
                          • Most policyholders shopped around at their last renewal date
                            • Figure 7: Consumers and renewal behaviour, RoI and NI, January 2018
                          • Willingness from consumers to act to reduce premiums
                            • Figure 8: Agreement with statements relating to car insurance and car insurance providers, RoI and NI, January 2018
                          • What it means
                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                            • Motor insurance premiums up in NI, but down overall in UK
                              • RoI premiums falling, but remain high by historical standards
                                • Irish consumers are broadly positive about future situation
                                  • Just over a quarter of Irish consumers could absorb higher premiums
                                  • Market Size and Forecast

                                      • Value of gross written premiums approaching €2 billion in 2018
                                        • Figure 9: Gross written premiums, private motor insurance, €m, IoI, RoI and NI, 2013-22
                                      • Market to continue to grow, but at a more moderate pace
                                        • Figure 10: Gross written premiums, private motor insurance index, RoI and NI, 2013-22
                                      • Gross written premiums for car insurance up 25% in 2016
                                        • Figure 11: Gross written premiums, all insurance types, € million, RoI, 2016
                                      • Irish consumers spending over $4,000 yearly on insurance premiums
                                        • Figure 12: Insurance premiums per capita, $, selected European countries, 2016
                                    • Market Drivers

                                      • Insurance costs down overall in UK, but increasing in NI
                                        • Figure 13: Average motor insurance premiums, quarterly % change, by TV region, UK (including NI), Q1 2018
                                      • Average motor premium in NI now in excess of £850 per annum
                                        • Figure 14: Average motor insurance premiums, by TV region, UK (including NI), Q1 2018
                                        • Figure 15: Average motor insurance premiums, £, UK (including NI), Q3 2014-Q1 2018
                                      • Young motorists in UK paying almost three times average premium
                                        • Figure 16: Average motor insurance premiums, by age, £, UK (including NI), Q1 2018
                                      • RoI premiums fall significantly, but still high compared to recent years
                                        • Figure 17: Motor insurance premiums index, RoI, April 2010-April 2018
                                      • Sizeable minority anticipate improvement in personal fortunes
                                        • Figure 18: Consumers' assessment as to whether own financial situation will improve, stay the same or decline over the coming 12 months, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                      • Just over a quarter could take on higher car insurance premiums
                                        • Figure 19: How consumers rate their current financial situation, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                      • Three quarters of Irish consumers currently own a car
                                        • Figure 20: Ownership of a car, RoI and NI, January 2018
                                        • Figure 21: Reason for not owning a car, RoI and NI, January 2018
                                      • Less than a quarter of consumers driving new or nearly-new cars
                                        • Figure 22: Type of car ownership, RoI and NI, January 2018
                                    • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                      • Insurance industry brands in Ireland starting to react to technology
                                        • FBD to underwrite An Post’s Insurance brand, One Direct
                                          • Direct Line partner with Tesla in the UK
                                            • Zurich in negotiations to acquire Dublin-based insurer, Blue Insurance
                                              • Aviva Ireland retains sponsorship of Dublin stadium until 2025
                                              • Companies and Brands

                                                  • Admiral (NI Only)
                                                    • Key facts
                                                      • Motor insurance products
                                                        • Recent developments
                                                          • Allianz Ireland
                                                            • Key facts
                                                              • Motor insurance products
                                                                • Recent developments
                                                                  • AXA
                                                                    • Key facts
                                                                      • Motor insurance products
                                                                        • Recent developments
                                                                          • Direct Line Group (NI Only)
                                                                            • Key facts
                                                                              • Motor insurance products
                                                                                • Recent developments
                                                                                  • An Post (RoI Only)
                                                                                    • Key facts
                                                                                      • Motor insurance products
                                                                                        • FBD (RoI Only)
                                                                                          • Key facts
                                                                                            • Motor insurance products
                                                                                              • Recent developments
                                                                                                • Liberty Insurance (Hughes Insurance in NI)
                                                                                                  • Key facts
                                                                                                    • Motor insurance products
                                                                                                      • Recent developments
                                                                                                        • Abbey Insurance Brokers (NI Only)
                                                                                                          • Key facts
                                                                                                            • Motor insurance products
                                                                                                              • Zurich
                                                                                                                • Key facts
                                                                                                                  • Motor insurance products
                                                                                                                    • Recent developments
                                                                                                                      • 123.ie (RSA Insurance Ireland)
                                                                                                                        • Key facts
                                                                                                                          • Motor insurance products
                                                                                                                            • Allied Irish Bank
                                                                                                                              • Key facts
                                                                                                                                • Motor insurance products
                                                                                                                                  • Bank of Ireland
                                                                                                                                    • Key facts
                                                                                                                                      • Motor insurance products
                                                                                                                                        • Ulster Bank
                                                                                                                                          • Key facts
                                                                                                                                            • Motor insurance products
                                                                                                                                              • Aviva
                                                                                                                                                • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                  • Motor insurance products
                                                                                                                                                    • Recent developments
                                                                                                                                                    • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                                                                                                      • Big data impacts the industry as consumers seek more ‘on-demand’ products
                                                                                                                                                        • Cuvva
                                                                                                                                                          • By Miles
                                                                                                                                                            • Internet of Things interacting with telematics to improve insurance products
                                                                                                                                                              • New apps seeking to invert the insurance price comparison model
                                                                                                                                                                • Honcho
                                                                                                                                                                  • Wrisk
                                                                                                                                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                                    • Overwhelming majority of motorists have car insurance
                                                                                                                                                                      • AXA the market leader both in NI and RoI car insurance markets
                                                                                                                                                                        • Online via insurer now the single-most popular channel
                                                                                                                                                                          • Around three quarters of consumers shopped around at renewal
                                                                                                                                                                            • Initiatives to reduce premiums interesting consumers
                                                                                                                                                                            • Ownership of Car Ownership

                                                                                                                                                                                • Majority of motorists have a fully comprehensive policy
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 23: Ownership of car insurance, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                • Ownership of fully comprehensive cover lowest among younger drivers
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 24: Ownership of fully comprehensive car insurance, by gender, age and social class, NI and RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                • 1 in 4 motorists aged 18-44 in RoI have third party or TPFT cover
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 25: Ownership of third party / third party, fire & theft cover, by gender, age and social class, RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                              • Current Provider

                                                                                                                                                                                  • AXA the clear leader in NI car insurance market
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 26: Insurance providers that motorists currently have car insurance with, NI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                  • AXA appeals in particular to younger motorists in NI
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 27: Consumers who currently have car insurance with AXA, by gender and age, NI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Three major players in the RoI car insurance market
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 28: Insurance providers that motorists currently have car insurance with, RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                  • AXA in RoI strongest among consumers aged 25-34
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Consumers who currently have car insurance with AXA, RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Aviva faring well among motorists aged 18-24 and 55+ in RoI
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Consumers who currently have car insurance with Aviva, RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Allianz appeals more to men than women, and 18-24s and 45-54s
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Consumers who currently have car insurance with Allianz Group, RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                • Purchasing Process

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Online the dominant channel for purchasing car insurance
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Method used to purchase current car insurance policy, RoI and NI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Shift away from phone towards greater online use both in NI and RoI
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Main methods used to purchase current car insurance policy, NI, 2016 and 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Main methods used to purchase current car insurance policy, RoI, 2016 and 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Strong tendency across all demographics to purchase online via provider
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Consumers who purchased their current car insurance policy online - directly through the insurance provider, RoI and NI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Women and older consumers most inclined to purchase via the phone
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 36: Consumers who purchased their current car insurance policy over the phone, RoI and NI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Younger consumers, heavy internet users using price comparison sites
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Consumers who purchased their current car insurance policy online - through a price comparison website, NI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                    • C2DEFs and light internet users’ slight preference to deal face-to-face
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 38: Consumers who purchased their current car insurance policy face to face/in a branch, RoI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Renewal Behaviour

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Three quarters shopped around at their last renewal date
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Consumers and renewal behaviour, RoI and NI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Younger consumers renewing without even shopping around
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Consumers who stayed with their existing insurer and did not shop around at their last renewal, by gender and age, RoI and NI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Men and consumers aged 45-54 shopping around, but staying
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Consumers who stayed with their existing insurer but only after shopping around at their last renewal, by gender and age, RoI and NI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Women and consumers aged 25+ most inclined to switch insurers
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 42: Consumers who switched to a different insurer at their last renewal, RoI and NI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Attitudes Towards Car Insurance

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Consumers willing to work with insurers to reduce premiums
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Agreement with statements relating to car insurance and car insurance providers, RoI and NI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Satisfaction with premiums far higher among NI policyholders
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 44: Agreement with statement, 'I am happy with the current cost of my car insurance', RoI and NI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Two thirds of consumers used more than one price comparison site
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 45: Agreement with statement, 'I use more than one price comparison site to get the best car insurance deal', RoI and NI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                        • New technologies to have major implications for insurers and premiums
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 46: Agreement with statements relating to car insurance and technology, RoI and NI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Consumers largely trust insurers, but reluctant to claim
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Agreement with statements relating to car insurance and claims, RoI and NI, January 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Data sources
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Abbreviations