Motor insurance data published in latest Consumer Protection Bulletin

20 April 2017 Press Release

Cars in traffic 

  • Majority of personal motor insurance policies (62%) are provided by companies incorporated in Ireland and prudentially regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. 
  • 28% of policies are provided by companies operating in Ireland on a branch basis, with firms operating on a Freedom of Services basis accounting for 10%.
  • 11,502 complaints were reported in H2 2016 from firms currently providing motor insurance, which account for 0.5% of live policies. Half of all complaints related to pricing issues.

The Central Bank of Ireland today publishes its fifth Consumer Protection Bulletin, which is focused on the motor insurance sector. The information was compiled from data submitted by 24 motor insurance companies providing insurance to Irish personal consumers in 2016.

This bulletin provides a high level overview of the number and value of personal motor insurance policies written, as well as information on the location of the companies writing these policies and their regulation. The bulletin also includes data on complaints.

The key data includes:

  • The total number of motor insurance policies as of 31 December 2016 was 2,134,553 with related total premiums of €1.020bn.
  • Of the 24 motor insurance companies, nine are incorporated in Ireland and prudentially regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland; four are incorporated in the UK and have branches in Ireland and the remaining eleven provide insurance in Ireland on a Freedom of Services basis.
  • By number of policies, 62% are provided by companies prudentially regulated by the Central Bank, 28% by companies operating here on a ‘branch basis’ and the remaining 10% by companies here on a Freedom of Services basis1.
  • In H2 20162, the reporting motor insurance companies received a total of 11,502 complaints, representing 0.5% of live policies.
  • Around half of all these complaints (52.2%) related to “pricing”; 20% related to “customer service” and 12.7% related to “voiding/decline of policy/terms and conditions.”
  • 6.2% of the complaints were made by consumers in relation to motor insurance claims.
  • 99% of the motor insurance complaints were resolved within 40 business days3.
  • Total redress of €9,834 was paid in H2 2016 in respect of 44 motor insurance claim complaint cases.


  1. This is the Central Bank’s fifth Consumer Protection Bulletin covering different aspects of the Irish financial services market. The Consumer Protection Bulletins have been developed as part of a commitment (first outlined in the Consumer Protection Outlook Report 2015) to gather and monitor market intelligence and data returns from regulated firms. Further bulletins will be published periodically.
  2. A “personal consumer” means a consumer who is a natural person acting outside his or her business, trade or profession.
  3. Insurance undertakings can write business in Ireland from another European Economic Area (EEA) state by either establishing a branch (Freedom of Establishment) or by writing business directly without a branch in the State (Freedom of Services).
  4. The Central Bank published the outcome of a thematic review specifically focused on the handling of motor insurance claims on 28 February 2017.


1 Under financial services legislation insurance companies must inform consumers of the name of the competent authority from which they obtained an authorisation and name of the country where they have their head office.

2 ‘H2’ refers to the second half of the year i.e. 1 July until 31 December.

3 This is the timeframe prescribed by the Consumer Protection Code 2012 within which a complaint must be resolved or, if not resolved, the complainant must be informed of the anticipated timeframe for resolution.