Now is a good time to check in with your insurer.
That’s the advice from motor insurance experts today, as it was revealed that delays to driving tests around the country because of Covid-19 restrictions will mean thousands of provisional licensed drivers will be forced to renew insurance policies for up to €600 more than a fully licensed driver.
Figures from the RSA suggest that 33,000 drivers would have passed their test between the months of March and July, but as a result of lockdown test centre closures, they were unable to do so.
“Before COVID about 16,000 or 17,000 drivers were tested every month, and, on average, 8,383 people passed each month.” said Deirdre McCarthy of Coverinaclick.ie.
“The service had to be suspended on March 13th and was only able to resume earlier this week, on July 20th. Drivers who pass their test are typically rewarded with premium reductions of between €300 and €600 at their next renewal because they are able to get competitive quotes from several more insurers.
Unfortunately, for the 33,000 drivers who would likely have passed their test between March and July, they will not see these reductions if their insurance renewal date arrives before their test date.
What can I do?
“Most insurers will give a pro-rata refund if a person passes their test mid-term.” added Ms McCarthy.
“But many drivers are simply unaware of this, so we are advising them to check the insurer’s refund policy in this regard before renewing and to subsequently flag it with their insurer as soon as they have passed their test.”
Drivers can save up to 30% on their premiums simply by achieving their full licence. Getting lessons can also be a significant cost-saver; certain insurers offer discounts for drivers who have completed 10 lessons with a qualified driving instructor.