Claims Push Up Car Insurance; 'Compensation Culture Is Sharply Affecting Northern Ireland Premiums'

Article excerpt

Byline: NICOLA MATHERS

Compensation culture is sweeping Northern Ireland, with motorists feeling the backlash from car insurance companies.

The province is one of the worst places to live when it comes to purchasing motor insurance, with higher personal injuries claims being blamed for the poor 'post code' rating.

One of the most sought after areas in Belfast, the leafy suburbs of BT9, is rated as a 97 by Privilege Insurance - only two marks away from being the worst place to live in the UK.

A spokeswoman from Privilege Insurance, explaining the poor rating, said: "We rate areas on a scale of 11 to 99 with 99 being the worst. Northern Ireland itself is rated between 95 to 99, which is quite a small scale.

"We find personal injury claims are a lot higher in Northern Ireland than on the mainland."

This view of a sweeping 'compensation culture' amongst Ulster road users is backed up by the Automobile Association (AA).

A spokeswoman for the AA said that Northern Ireland had "always been regarded as a high risk in terms of compensation claims."

She added: "Everybody assumes the premiums are high because of the Troubles, but this has nothing to do with it. …