New Central Bank rules have come into effect today which will ban the practice of so-called "price-walking".

This is where loyal customers of motor and home insurance companies are penalised for staying with the same insurer, by getting charged higher premiums than new customers.

Today's changes follow last year's review from the Central Bank which found those customers who stayed with the same provider for nine years or more paid on average 14% more on car insurance and 32% more on home insurance.

Changes to the automatic renewals of motor and home insurance are also being made.

All consumers will now be given the same information, which the Central Bank says should prompt them to consider their policy and whether they should shop around.

The Central Bank said insurers will also now have to review their pricing policies annually.

As of today, when a person renews their home or motor insurance for the second time or more, their insurer can no longer charge them more than someone who is renewing for the first time, with a similar risk profile and cost of service.

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