A new survey shows that 58% of people in Ireland said they had experienced "dual pricing" on various insurance products.
Dual pricing occurs when an insurer charges loyal customers a higher premium than new customers, despite having a similar risk profile.
The survey was commissioned by Peopl.ie, a provider of home, travel and life insurance, and conducted by iReach.
However, while the survey found 6 in 10 people experience the practiced, Peopl Insurance said this figure could well be greater because a further 24% of respondents said they did not know what dual pricing was – meaning they may well have unknowingly fallen foul of it in the past.
The survey also found that while more men than women said they experienced dual pricing, women may actually be more at risk of overpaying for insurance products because almost three in ten were unaware of the practice.
Over two thirds of young people, aged between 18 and 24, were also found to have been affected.
Paul Walsh, CEO of Peopl Insurance, said the survey really shines a light on just how many people are affected by dual pricing – a practice which, at the very least, is a questionable way of pricing insurance.
"Insurance is a product that is needed in pretty much every household throughout the country, so the way it is priced will impact hundreds of thousands of people," Mr Walsh said.
This makes the need for fair practice even greater," he stated.
"The fact that the Central Bank is clamping down on the issue is to be welcomed - the industry and regulators need to work together to ensure fair and equal treatment of all consumers," he added.
Paul Walsh also said that consumers can take steps to ensure they are getting the best value on the market and they need to shop around.
"Never auto-renew and never take just one insurers' quote as gospel. Do your homework - or better yet, get an expert to do this for you, at no cost to you," he added.