New figures on motor insurance from the Central Bank show that average premiums declined sharply by 47% and 48% for comprehensive and third party, fire and theft cover respectively during the years 2006 to 2013.

The Central Bank's Private Motor Insurance Statistics show, however, that the pace of this decline slowed in the latter years of the period under review.

Comprehensive and third party fire & theft premiums eased by just 1% between 2012 and 2013 and motor insurance premiums are rising in recent months.

Meanwhile, average costs generally showed an upward trend, rising by 23% for comprehensive and 38% for third party from 2006 up to 2013. 

The Central Bank noted an accelerating of the upward momentum in the average cost per claim from 2010 onwards, with a 32% rise in comprehensive and a 56% increase in third party fire & theft. 

Today's figures also show that between 2012 and 2013, accident frequency decreased from 5.3 to 5.2 accidents per 100 policy years for comprehensive insurance and from 4.1 to 3.7 for third party, fire & theft.

The Central Bank said that comprehensive cover accounted for 83% of the domestic market in 2013, compared with 73% in 2006. Third party fire and theft policies made up just 16% of the market in 2013 compared to 26% in 2006.

Third party only cover made up a small part of the motor insurance market - 1% - in 2013, the Central Bank noted. 

The Private Motor Insurance Statistics examines the level of accident frequency and costs, and the related impact upon allocated premium differentials by driver profile. The report is based on the analysis of policy, premium and claim data, up to and including 2013.