Students Have Been Driven to Drop out of College – as Car Insurance Costs Soar.
While the Government will claim some success in reducing motor insurance premiums in recent times, based on CSO data, it is clear that that those figures do not reflect the experience of younger drivers and students in particular. Students are reporting to the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) that they are being forced to drop out of college because they cannot afford to insure a car to commute, having already been forced out of the accommodation market by spiralling rents.
As part of their campaign to address this major cost of attending college, the USI, representing over 374,000 members, has voted to join the Alliance for Insurance Reform.
The Alliance for Insurance Reform brings together 30 civic and business organisations from across Ireland, representing over 36,000 members, 640,000 employees and 493,000 volunteers in highlighting the negative impact of persistently high premiums and calling for real action to tackle the issue.
President of USI, Lorna Fitzpatrick notes,
“Students are massively struggling with the cost of education, from the extortionate fees to the huge costs of accommodation. Transport is another cost we need to reduce for students. Students are commuting by car more because of the high costs of education or lack of availability of public transport but the commutes themselves are almost as expensive as renting in some cases.”
The USI notes that since the Central Bank abolished the Private Motor Insurance Statistics (PMIS) report in 2015, there is very little data available on specific stats in relation to insurance – including around young people/students and motor/travel insurance. According to anecdotal data, students face a number of barriers when it comes to insurance including cost, getting insured on cars aged 10 years and older. The Alliance for Insurance Reform will also maintain that owners of older cars are facing higher premiums.
USI have recently launched the ‘Break The Barriers’ campaign which focuses on all of the costs that students incur while studying at third level, high costs of transport is an access issue for students.