Minister for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciaran Cannon, has published the names of the motor insurance operators who insure returning emigrants and take into account the ‘no-claims’ driving discounts/experience earned abroad.
The Minister has said this will act as a quick reference guide for returning emigrants looking for the best possible quote and help reduce the obstacles to moving home.
Minister Cannon said: “One of the most basic rights a returning emigrant should have is the certainty that comes with affordable motor insurance so that they may access employment opportunities, have their driving experience abroad taken into account and go about their daily business with ease.
“The Indecon Report on the challenges faced by returning emigrants flagged car insurance as a major issue. Consequently I wrote to all motor insurance operators in Ireland to ascertain what policy each operates for returning emigrants and am pleased to say that a number have responded to say that they do insure returning emigrants and that they do take into account ‘no-claims’ driving discounts/experience earned abroad.
“This information is now available on the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and will be a quick reference guide for our returning emigrants looking for the best possible quote.
“Our Government will continue to work to facilitate in every way the return of our emigrants. I’m grateful to all of the insurance companies who responded positively to my letter and the content of their responses provides core information in helping returning emigrants to secure a competitive insurance quote.
“One of the key pieces of advice I would give to all returning emigrants is to spend significant time in preparation. In particular, when it comes to motor insurance, one should always gather documentary evidence of your driving and insurance record abroad as this will be required when seeking a quote upon your return to Ireland.”
The following motor insurance operators responded to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and indicated that they do insure returning emigrants and that they do, is some way or another, take into account ‘no-claims’ driving discounts/experience earned abroad:
MS Amlin / KennCo
R & Q Insurance
Each motor insurer will take different circumstances into account when developing a quote for returning emigrants. In general motor insurers will take into account a no-claims history gained in EU/EEA, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, South Africa, and USA. Discounting of your no-claims history may apply and some countries may be excluded by insurers. It is not possible to set out a one size fits all approach but advice for securing the most competitive quote would include:
· Keep all your records of insurance and no claims driving history earned abroad.
· Secure an additional letter or other official document from your last insurer stating the circumstances of your insurance cover and your no-claims driving history.
· Keep any records of your previous driving experience in Ireland.
· It should also be noted that some motor insurance providers will honour an Irish no-claims driving history where the gap in cover is less than two years, i.e. if you come back to Ireland within two years and seek out insurance they may take your previous Irish driving experience into account.
· The Irish motor insurance market also operates a Declined Cases Agreement. Under the Agreement, the insurance market will not refuse to provide insurance to an individual seeking insurance, if you have approached at least three insurers and have not been able to obtain cover from them. In general, the insurer first approached will be required to provide you with a quote. It is therefore important that you keep a careful note of the order in which you approached insurance companies for a quote, in case you need to use this mechanism.
· The experience of other returning emigrants to date would suggest that those seeking to return to Ireland should shop around for insurance cover. Also, a good source of additional information may be social media where other returned emigrants share details and advice, including of insurance brokers who are particularly active in sourcing insurance quotes for returned emigrants.
More information on securing motor insurance in Ireland, including a note for returning emigrants, can be found here; https://www.dfa.ie/global-irish/returning-to-ireland/finances/
If you would like to make a complaint against a motor insurance provider that operates in Ireland you can get more information on how to do so from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.