Drivers considering dropping their fully comprehensive car insurance - AA

Almost 40 per cent of motorists have considered sacrificing their comprehensive cover in favour of a third party or third party, fire, and theft policy as a result of rising insurance costs, according to research undertaken by AA Motor Insurance.

As part of the survey of more than 3,000 motorists, some 5.89 per cent stated they opted to make the change to third party cover, with a further 18.98 per cent admitting that while they had considered the change they opted to retain their comprehensive cover.

A further 12.67 per cent acknowledged that while they had not considered sacrificing their comprehensive cover at the time of their last renewal, they may do so when next renewing.

Mark Watterson, AA Insurance, stated: “The advice we would give customers who are considering a chance in the level of cover they take out is to weigh up the potential savings versus what you would lose by moving to a third party policy. Depending on the age of your car, how often you drive or even your own driver history a third party policy may be more affordable and may also best match your needs.

“However, the number of people who are considering making such a change is certainly alarming, and further underlines the need for action in tackling insurance hikes. We have been highlighting the threat of rising premiums since November, 2015, and while we have seen some Government action on this in recent months there is still a great deal to be done.

“We’re a predominantly rural country and, as a result, the car is a necessity for many Irish people. It’s important that our Government don’t overlook this fact and continue to tackle the issue of rising premiums instead of viewing the steps already taken as being enough.”

Younger drivers were the most likely to have changed their insurance from comprehensive cover to third party or third party, fire, and theft. Among those aged between 17 and 24, almost one in 10 (9.59 per cent ) had switched from comprehensive cover, with 8.75 per cent of those aged 25 to 35 having opted for a lower level of cover.

“Insurance often tends to be most expensive for younger drivers before becoming cheaper in time as they gain more experience behind the wheel and, as a result, third party cover may well be more suitable and affordable for less experienced drivers,” Watterson added.

“As well as shopping around for the best deal, it’s important to ensure you’re purchasing the right cover for you. If you don’t drive regularly, have a low annual mileage, or drive an older car, third party cover may be more suited to your needs.”

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