‘My pre­mium went up to €1,880 – I’d be pay­ing just €300 in UK’

Irish Independent - - News - Laura Lynott

A 75-YEAR-OLD woman was told her car in­sur­ance pre­mium was as high as €1,200 due to her age and that of her ve­hi­cle.

Heather Swedler, from Lis­towel, Co Kerry, ex­changed her 00 reg car for a 04 Fiat Punto but her in­sur­ance re­mains crip­pling.

“When I first took a pol­icy out three years ago, it was €800, but then it went up to €1,400, then €1,880,” Ms Swedler said. “I phoned up [my in­sur­ance com­pany] and asked why it was so ex­pen­sive. They told me it was be­cause of my age and the age of my ve­hi­cle which was a Nis­san 00 reg. I bought a Fiat Punto 04 to bring the in­sur­ance down but it was only re­duced to €1,200, which is still far too ex­pen­sive.

“I rang around other com­pa­nies too and I was told oth­ers don’t in­sure ve­hi­cles that are 14 or 15 years old. That means un­less you have a 16, 17 or 18 reg, as an older per­son then you can’t get rea­son­able car in­sur­ance.”

Ms Swedler, who is orig­i­nally from Es­sex in Eng­land and had worked in in­sur­ance until she moved to Ire­land around 20 years ago, said the Bri­tish were warned when mov­ing to Ire­land how high car in­sur­ance costs were here. But she never ex­pected in­sur­ance to rise so dra­mat­i­cally.

“I know some­one of the same age in the UK who has a sim­i­lar age car to mine and they are pay­ing €300 a year. I can­not see the jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for such a huge difference in prices,” she said. “I still have a mort­gage to pay and my near­est shop and my GP is 6km away, there and back.

“I know if my car in­sur­ance goes up again, I won’t be able to af­ford it and what am I sup­posed to do then?”

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