The average cost of car insurance in Northern Ireland is predicted to return to pre-pandemic levels in the coming weeks as our roads become busier and the potential for more accidents increase.
In the last three months, £26 was added on to the cost of a new premium – the first time a rise has been recorded here since last year. With that pushing prices to their highest point in the last 12 months, it means local motorists can expect to fork out, on average, £551 for comprehensive cover.
It ranks Northern Ireland as the sixth most expensive region to take out car insurance in behind inner London (£843), outer London (£686), Manchester and Merseyside (£686), the West Midlands area (£655), Leeds and Sheffield (£625).
Price comparison website Confused.com published the information and said the news shouldn’t come as a surprise as its experts have been predicting a U-turn in insurance costs for some time.
During the height of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions people were encouraged to work from home, eradicating journeys to and from the office.
Those who were placed on furlough – the government’s job retention scheme – were also advised to cap the number of trips they made each day in an effort to minimise the spread of the respiratory illness.
Now, though, with society starting to open up again and many restrictions being relaxed, drivers are spending more time on the road and, in turn, the number and the cost of claims are increasing. Based on this trend, UK motorists could be paying as much as £566 next quarter, said Confused.com.
Louise O’Shea, the CEO of Confused.com, added: “Car insurance prices rising is not the happy news we wanted to start the year with, however it’s also not completely unexpected, as people resume their normal driving habits, and the cost of vehicle repair and replacement continues to increase.
“Customers who are shopping around are receiving prices that are cheaper than 12 months ago which is especially good news as some customers are still seeing their renewal price increase year-on-year. This just goes to prove that there are still plenty of better deals out there.”
Younger drivers in the UK continue to pay the highest premiums given the risk associated with the; those aged 18 are having to fork out £1,407 on average and 20-year-olds £1,268.
Prices for drivers aged 21 have seen £95 added on to an average policy while those aged 23 and 28 are also now paying 9% on average. That equates to an £84 and £62 increase over a three-month period.