‘Car insurance investigation must be made public soon’ – Ritchie

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Thursday, March 13th, 2014
South Down MP Margaret Ritchie has urged the Competition Commission to ensure that their report into the costs of private car insurance is made available soon, insisted that consumers need lower costs and accessibility to the insurance market. Speaking to Newry Times, Ritchie said, “Over the last couple of years many young people and older people have approached me regarding the fact that they have found great difficulty in accessing the insurance market due to the high level of costs. “As a consequence, younger people have been unable to access jobs due to the need to drive a car, and it also prevents the mobility of older people, particularly in rural communities. High costs of insurance have also had an impact on an economy struggling out of the downturn. “Over two years ago, I had an Adjournment Debate in the House of Commons regarding this matter where I was advised by the Treasury Minister, David Gauke MP that the matter had been referred to the Competition Commission for investigation and possible avenues for resolution,” the local MP continued. “At that stage, the Minister was hopeful that a report would be published into this matter at an early opportunity. “This investigation has taken longer than expected. Whilst this investigation has been prolonged, many people have still told me that the cost of private car insurance is still an impediment to them being able to use a car for job purposes or for simple social mobility purposes. “Time has now been called on this investigation by the Competition Commission – the cost of private car insurance is still a major issue. There are barriers to entry for potential young drivers and older people as outlined in interim Competition Commission reports. Ritchie added, “I will be tabling questions in Westminster this week urging a resolution to be found to this matter which ensures more affordable entry points for young and older people to enter and remain within the insurance market. Economic growth demands that greater accessibility is afforded for all levels of society to the private car insurance market.”
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