Skip To The Main Content

Office of Fair Trading to investigate insurance prices

by  | 

An insurance broker in Northern Ireland has claimed that car insurance companies across the region have nothing to fear from a probe into the cost of premiums.

A spokesman for the broker was speaking after the Office of Fair Trading ​(OFT) launched an official investigation into the vastly contentious issue.

The Office of Fair Trading has said it intends in it aims to establish a reason why insurance costs continue to rise across the UK, and that they intend to pay specific attention to Northern Ireland where costs are higher on average.

However, the spokesman for the insurance broker said the inquiry would put an unnecessary strain on the public purse.

He said: "I think this is a waste of public money at a time when we can ill-afford it - and I don't think it will bring down the cost of insurance. We are not worried about the OFT's investigation as we will get the facts.

"The underlying reasons behind the cost of premiums should be out in the open so everyone understands why they are high.

"It's down to the cost of claims and our higher legal costs, and I think the probe will establish that."

The Northern Ireland Consumer Council, who last month launched a campaign to reduce rising car insurance costs, has welcomed the investigation by the OFT.

The investigation has been welcomed by the Northern Ireland Consumer Council which last month launched a campaign to reduce costs.

Antoinette McKeown, its chief executive, said the decision by the OFT is a "positive next step" for consumers here.

Watchdog reports have revealed that on average, car insurance costs in Northern Ireland are 84% higher than elsewhere in the UK.

The OFT intends to release its findings towards the end of the year.

By Ben Malkin

© Copyright Autonet Insurance