Rise in car insurance payments with motorists now more likely to make claims, says Aviva

Aviva says there was a 16pc increase in the volume of motor damage payments it made last year, while their value grew by 37pc. The insurance company believes the cost of living was a factor, with people more likely to make claims for small repairs to their cars rather than pay the bill themselves.

More expensive vehicle parts and the delay in obtaining them, plus the shortage of skilled labour in the sector, also contributed to the rise in car insurance payments. Aviva says the increasing number of vehicles with advanced technology is another reason for cost increases.

Brian O’Connor, chief claims officer at Aviva, said a positive recent development was an increase in the number of people who were prosecuted for insurance fraud and were given jail sentences.

“We have spent many years investing significant resources in fighting suspected fraud cases and, while we have seen an increase in the number of people who withdraw their claim before the court hearing due to our refusal to settle out of court, it is only when the justice system is seen to consistently punish convicted fraudsters that a true deterrent will be in place,” Mr O’Connor said.

Payments on property damage claims increased by 22pc last year, with an increase in the number of incidents recorded. High inflation in both materials and labour also had an impact, particularly in the first half of last year.

Aviva says under-insurance is still a problem with home policies, with only 26pc of its customers increasing the value of their house at renewal time, even though the cost of rebuilding has increased significantly over the last three years.

Overall the company paid out €274m in claims to general insurance customers and third-party claimants last year, an increase of 7.5pc on the previous year. It says almost 99pc of claims were finalised in that period.

The total amount spent on injury claims was down by 8.2pc on 2022, but Aviva noted that more than half of claimants failed to engage positively with the Injuries Resolution Board (IRB), which meant their claim had to proceed to court.

Mr O’Connor said: “The recent judgement from the Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of the personal injury guidelines is especially welcome. There is a real opportunity now for all parties to engage with the process, particularly for those assessed by the IRB.”

If you would like an assessment of a claim, you can use the online form available here without obligation or alternatively you can use the automatic claim calculator.

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