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 a survey of some 3,000 motorists, respondents were asked if they had considered changing from comprehensive motor insurance to a third party policy at the time of their last renewal to reduce the cost of cover. Some 5.89 per cent of those surveyed stated they opted to make the change to third party cover, with a further 18.98 per cent admitting they had considered the change, but opted to retain comprehensive cover.
Meanwhile, 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 their policy.
Mark Watterson of AA Insurance says it would advise customers who are considering a chance in the level of cover to weigh up the potential savings versus what they would lose by moving to a third party policy.
"Depending on the age of the car, how often they drive or even their own driver history, a third party policy may be more affordable and may also best match their needs,” he says. “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 does not overlook this fact and continues 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, according to the survey.
Among those aged between 17 and 24 almost one in 10 survey respondents (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 at the time of their last renewal.
“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,” he adds. “As well as shopping around for the best deal, it’s important to ensure they are purchasing the right cover for them. If they don’t drive regularly, have a low annual mileage, or drive an older car, third party cover may be more suited to their needs.”
The survey also found that men were slightly more likely to have changed or considered changing from comprehensive at the time of their last renewal, with 6.26 per cent of men opting to switch to a third part policy compared to 4.62 per cent of women.