The level of motor insurance premiums is measured by the CSO using as a base the costs obtaining in December 2001 which is allocated an index of 100. Using this scale the costs for motor insurance in February 2002 measured 99.6 index points. From that date, costs rose to 108 index points in April 2003. Motor insurance costs have subsequently reduced and at February 2007 the index stood at 70.5 points, a reduction of 34.7% since April 2003.
There are various factors contributing to this reduction. The introduction of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board was a major step as was the Civil Liability and Courts Act which includes penalties for giving false or misleading evidence in personal injury cases. In addition, random breath testing, increased resources to the Garda Traffic Corps and the roll-out of the penalty points system are expected to deliver better driver behaviour and reduced frequency of traffic accidents. These initiatives are having a positive effect on motor insurance premiums and I am confident that they will continue to do so.