Car insurance Ireland
History of motor insurance in Ireland – Drivers in Ireland are required to have a car insurance policy. The mandatory requirement for individuals to hold motor insurance transitioned from horse-drawn carriages to mechanical vehicles. The Locomotive Act was introduced in 1865, outlining the laws relating to the use of mechanically propelled vehicles. The world’s first mass-manufactured vehicle was the Model T, produced in 1908. In the late 1920s, over six thousand individuals were killed annually on roads in the UK due to car accidents. Consequently, the following acts were introduced to ensure car insurance was universally adopted. These included:
Road Traffic Act 1930 (UK) – 3rd party insurance was made compulsory.
Road Traffic Act 1933 (Ireland) – legal liability for injury or death to 3rd parties in public places was made compulsory.
The Road Traffic Act 1961 is the principal legislation in Ireland applicable to motor vehicles.
The minimum insurance required is unlimited indemnity concerning death or injury to 3rd parties and 1 million Euro for damage or loss of 3rd party property. The 5th EU Directive introduced this Act.
The Road Traffic Act 1961 was updated and amended by the Road Traffic acts of 2002 and 2004.
Section 56 of the Road Traffic Act made it mandatory for an individual to have insurance before driving a mechanically propelled vehicle in public places. The objective was to make sure that car accident victims would receive compensation if the driver were negligent. Exemptions of the Road Traffic Act are outlined in Section 60. These exemptions include; vehicles driven by a state-sponsored body, a board established by the Act of the Oireachtas, or a company where a majority of the shares are owned by a state-sponsored body or a board set up by the Act of the Oireachtas.
Road Traffic Act:
– The policy must cover all designated territories.
– It must be issued to the named driver.
– It must cover unlimited liability and cover up to 1 million Euro for loss or damage of 3rd party property.
However, the policy is not required to cover liability for the following:
1. Front seat passengers in goods vehicles as per 1995.
2. Front seat passengers other than in privately owned cars.
3. Sidecar or pillion passengers on motorbikes as per 1998.
4. Damage in or on the vehicle.
5. Damage to property in the control of the insured driver.
The Road Traffic Act 1968 was responsible for the establishment of the Medical Bureau of Road Safety. This Bureau was set up to analyse urine and blood samples of drivers believed to be under the influence of alcohol.
The Road Traffic Act 2002 was the act that introduced the penalty point system in Ireland. This Act was established to improve driver behaviour and to reduce accidents and deaths. It is now one of the factors that insurance providers take into consideration before quoting a premium.
The Road Traffic Act 2010 introduced four new drink driving offences which included reduced alcohol limits for drivers and compulsory breath testing.
The Road Traffic Act 2011 requires the Gardai to conduct a breath test if they think a driver has consumed alcohol where an individual is injured at the scene of a car accident.
Car insurance documentation – This section will briefly review vehicle insurance documentation and proposal forms. A proposal form will have various parts that you are required to complete before the insurance company offers you a quote. These include:
1. Driver details: such as name, address, DOB, occupation etc
2. Driving history: years driving experience, previous claims, driving convictions etc
3. Vehicle details; registration number, make and model of car, number of passenger seats, date of purchase, the value of vehicle etc
4. Other questions will relate to usage such as what the driver will be using the car for, i.e. work, leisure, commercial, etc
5. The customer will have to select the type of cover required, third party only, third party fire and theft, third party only, or comprehensive.
6. Finally, the customer will then have to complete a declaration to confirm that all details provided are correct.