Age Action, Ireland’s leading advocacy organisation for older people, is meeting with the Oireachtas Finance Committee today to highlight the impact of rising car insurance premiums on older drivers.
Justin Moran, Head of Advocacy and Communications with Age Action, said: “Over the last few months we have had members and older people contacting us who are facing astonishing increases in their car insurance premiums.”
Frank, a 70-year-old Age Action supporter from Dundalk, recently faced a 68 per cent increase in his car insurance premium despite never having had an accident or making a claim.
Justin Moran continued: “Contrary to the stereotype older drivers are safer drivers. They are less likely to speed, to drink and drive or to take drugs. They also tend not to drive when they don’t feel comfortable, such as at night or in wet weather.”
Statistics from the CSO indicate that drivers over the age of 60 make up 22 per cent of licence holders but received less than 10 per cent of the penalty points issued in 2013.
A report from the British Institute of Advanced Motorists found that British pensioners, despite making up 8 per cent of all drivers, are only involved in around 4 per cent of accidents that cause injury.
Just yesterday a report from Swansea University in Britain found that drivers aged 70 are involved in 3-4 times fewer accidents than 17-21 year old men.
Impact of premiums
Justin Moran continued: “Some of the premiums quoted to our members come to twice the weekly pension and many older drivers are struggling to keep their cars on the road.
“In large parts of Ireland, particularly outside the main urban centres, public transport is poor. Older people who are unable to drive face increased social isolation and must rely on friends or family for transport.
“For many older drivers it is an absolute necessity and may mean the difference between living in the community or being forced into residential care.
“We welcome the opportunity to meet with the Oireachtas Finance Committee today and we will be urging them to take action to support older drivers.”