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Older drivers struggling with car insurance costs

Published 08/09/2016

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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.”

Age Action's Justin Moran at the committee meeting
Age Action's Justin Moran at the committee meeting

Research

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.” 

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A Fair Society for All? Listening to the Voices of Older People

Often, inequalities experienced by older people reflect an accumulated disadvantage which can be as a result of factors such as socio-economic status, health, gender, location. How existing inequalities impact on us as we age is something we in Age Action explored through a panel discussion 10 September – A Fair Society For All? Listening to the Voice of Older People – in Croke Park, on the occasion of the Annual General Meeting 2019.

An audience of over 160 people, including members of Age Action and people working in the ageing sector, joined the conversatoin which included a panel disucssion moderated by the CEO Paddy Connolly. The discussion centred on a discussion paper, Equality for All - Older People for Equality, published by Age Action in advance.The  panel set the scene with inputs from Michael Taft, Economist and political economy columnist, Colette Bennett, Policy Analyst Social Justice Ireland, Deirdre Garvey, CEO The Wheel, Ailbhe Smith, Co-Director of Together for Yes.