Cheap Car Insurance Northern Ireland – Car insurance in Northern Ireland can be expensive but great deals are available for those who shop around. Find out how to get the best car insurance quotes in Northern Ireland.
Car insurance in Northern Ireland (NI) can be more expensive than other areas of the UK. This is because there are fewer insurance companies in the market, which means there are fewer competitive offers, but cheap car insurance deals can still be found by shopping around for the best rates.
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Northern Ireland has a statistically younger population than the rest of the UK. There is also a huge gap in car insurance premium prices between younger and older generations.
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Although the number of insurance companies in the region is starting to grow, 45% of Northern Ireland drivers still automatically renew their existing insurance company instead of getting a new quote.
A recent Competition and Markets Authority investigation found that being a loyal car insurance consumer is pointless and you could be out of money if you don’t compare prices across the market.
According to Yang?, Northern Ireland was the fifth most expensive region in the UK for car insurance last year with Greater London taking the top spot.
The Consumer Council of Northern Ireland said that car premiums had risen in the past 12 months and hit a two-year high, with drivers paying almost £1,000 on average for cover.
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The average fully comprehensive car insurance premium in Northern Ireland increased by 7% per year to £931 in 2020. This contrasts with the rest of the UK where the average car insurance premium was reduced by 6% to £774.
NI car insurance is as much as 30% more expensive than the UK average. Lack of provider choice is just one reason for higher car insurance in NI. Other reasons for price differences include:
The greater volume of traffic on rural roads in Northern Ireland leading to above average annual mileage can also increase insurance costs.
A major impact on the cost of car insurance in Northern Ireland is the recent increase in uninsured drivers. The Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) estimated that around 31,000 drivers were driving without insurance in Northern Ireland in 2019.
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Reckless and dangerous driving is more common among drivers who are not insured under MIB because they lack the motivation to drive more safely and legally to help reduce policy costs.
More than 130 people are killed by uninsured or undetected ‘hit and run’ drivers every year. In a crackdown during the summer of 2019, the Police Service of Northern Ireland revealed that its officers seized more than 1,600 vehicles without insurance.
Uninsured drivers cost the insurance industry around £400 million each year and as payments come from a central fund contributed by insured drivers, less money into the fund means insurance premiums have to rise further to cover the shortfall.
In 2017, the personal injury discount rate or Ogden discount rate, which is used to assess compensation for serious personal injury claims, was lowered in the UK from 2.5% to minus 0.75%. That changed again in 2019 to minus 0.25%.
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The lower the rate, the higher the compensation and the greater the cost to compensators, such as insurance companies and the NHS. The cost is reflected in car insurance premiums.
However due to the breakdown of power sharing arrangements in the Northern Ireland Executive, Northern Ireland has not updated its framework as England & Wales and Scotland have done since 2017.
The personal injury discount rate in NI is currently 2.5%, but the Department of Justice is consulting on possible changes to the legal framework to set the rate from 2.5% to minus 1.75%. This will make NI insurance premiums higher.
A 2011 study by the Northern Ireland Assembly Research and Library Service found that the number of young drivers in Northern Ireland was higher than in England, Wales and Scotland.
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But according to the Department of Infrastructure, the number of driving tests taken by under-25s has fallen by a third in Northern Ireland in 10 years and the cost of car insurance has been blamed for the decline.
In 2008, almost 50,000 driving tests were undertaken by young people, but this fell to 33,261 in 2018. This is expected to decrease further during the 2020/2021 pandemic.
Younger drivers should shop around for the best insurance rates as the risk of crashing is greater for newly qualified young drivers.
This is not only because they lack experience, but other identifiable risk factors such as driving at night and carrying passengers of the same age. These factors may be reflected in the price of insurance premiums.
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Premiums can be affected by the job title you’re applying for, so it’s a good idea to check the categories to see if your job fits into more than one category and see how offers differ.
Your job may not mean you are at higher risk of making a claim, just that you share some characteristics with other drivers who may have jobs that require them to drive more.
If you are out of work because you are a carer, parent or pensioner, declaring that you are unemployed can also increase your premiums according to the Association of British Insurers.
It is important not to misrepresent yourself or you will void your coverage. You should also inform your insurance company if your job changes as this could affect the cost of your car insurance.
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A named driver is a secondary driver that you can add to your insurance policy that allows you to drive the insured car. They have the same level of cover as a primary driver but if they have an accident, they can affect your no-claims bonus.
The named driver can be a spouse, partner, family member or friend. If you add someone with a clean driver’s license and correct no-claims history to your insurance, this can help lower your insurance premiums.
Similarly, insurance prices may increase if an experienced driver adds a young or new driver to their insurance policy.
The choice of car can also affect the insurance premium. Cars with bigger engines are high performance cars and carry greater risks. For insurance companies, insurance costs can be more expensive. While cars with small engines are considered less risky.
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Checking your car insurance group before buying can help you keep premiums low. Car insurance groups are decided by a group rating panel made up of representatives from the Association of British Insurers and the Lloyd’s Market Association.
The panel used data from Thatcham Research to determine the risks associated with each private car registered in the UK and which cars are likely to be the most expensive in terms of insurance claims.
There are various ways to find cheaper car insurance in Northern Ireland and these include avoiding auto-renewal, not leaving renewal until the end of your policy, increasing the security on your car or increasing your voluntary excess.
For younger drivers, black box insurance is a good way to reduce insurance premiums. This is a type of telematics equipment that monitors driving habits using GPS. This data is used to adjust your premium
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However, for frequent drivers, black boxes can be more expensive, or if you drive frequently during rush hour or at night, you may pay more.
You can add a voluntary excess to your car insurance policy, and this can help lower your insurance premiums. An excess is the amount you pay yourself to cover the cost of the damage before the insurance company pays the rest.
Voluntary excess is different from mandatory excess which is set by the insurance company based on your level of risk. Voluntary excess is optional, but stays the same amount and you must pay that amount even if the damage is not your fault.
The premium savings must be balanced against the risk of payment in the event of a claim and the amount will not burden you.
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The improved security of your car can make your car insurance cheaper because of parking your car in a garage overnight instead of on the road.
Anything that makes your car more difficult to steal can affect the price of your car insurance policy and this includes alarms, immobilizers and motion sensitive lights in driveways.
Keep valuables hidden as some car insurance policies will pay for stolen items if they are safe and out of sight in the glove compartment or trunk of the car.
Price comparison sites are a great way to find the best car insurance deals in Northern Ireland and the prices displayed are direct and genuine insurance quotes. It allows you to browse through many quotes that are constantly updated and maintained by the comparison site.
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Car insurers have said that there will currently be no impact on insurance cover as the UK will leave Europe and there will still be a minimum level of cover for driving in the EU.
Some future insurers may treat travel between Northern Ireland, the Republic and the UK as cross-border
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