Insurers in Ireland must to more to help consumers facing financial challenges because of the COVID-19 outbreak, motoring organisation AA Ireland has warned.
The AA, which is a leading insurance intermediary itself, is urging underwriters to take action to help their customers during this difficult time. In particular the AA urges insurers to reduce premiums for the duration of the emergency as most people are hardly using their cars.
“Nothing about this is easy but we cannot let the ordinary motorist sit at the bottom of the food chain once again.” Says Director on Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan. “We want to see insurers look more directly at how they can help consumers right now. A lower claims risk must mean lower prices for ordinary people. I know insurers are looking at this and the AA has engaged with many directly but they have to do more. They need to consider refunds or premium reductions.”
“Right now most cars around the country are sitting on driveways apart from occasional, essential travel.” Says Faughnan. “Daily traffic volumes are down more than two thirds across the network. This means a huge reduction in the exposure to Motor claims and in all fairness consumers who are facing a cash crisis themselves need to have that recognised in the price they pay.”
The AA does accept that Insurers are also badly affected. For Commercial Insurance especially the near cessation of business activity in many industries is having a huge impact. The AA also acknowledges that Insurance companies deserve credit for how they are working with commercial clients at this time.
“To be frank, they need to look at it harder and they need to look at it quicker.”
AA Ireland is an insurance intermediary and provides motor, home, travel & life insurance to a large number of Irish customers. As a re-seller it does not control prices although it does secure volume discounts which it can pass on.
The AA is providing free Roadside Rescue to anyone who is working in the health service or is vulnerable for the duration of the emergency. It has also waived all fees for its Hotel Inspection & Grading business and is doing all that it can to mitigate the effects of the crisis on its staff and its customers.
“Both the scale and the suddenness of this economic shock have hit households and businesses hard and that includes the Insurance industry. We are all trying to be part of the national effort. But at a time where many people are facing job losses, it’s time for insurers to step up and do more.”