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Northern Ireland car insurance prices fall but still above UK average

By Claire McNeilly

Motorists in Northern Ireland are spending almost £950 on average for their car insurance, it has emerged.

Premiums have fallen by more than £70 in the last three months alone, with year-on-year prices also down by £8 - around 1%.

Typically insurance costs local drivers £935 - but they are being warned to go over their renewal letters carefully.

That's because many motorists are not seeing their potential savings being reflected in their new yearly quote.

Our bills are, however, £167 above the UK average, according to the latest quarterly analysis by price comparison website Confused.com.

Its car insurance price index for the first quarter of 2018 revealed that prices have fallen by 7% - or £71 - in 12 months.

The average UK-wide premium of £768 is £13 less than last year and £90 short of the highest premiums ever paid in 2011.

New research has revealed that customers who renew with the same insurer are not benefiting from savings, with premiums rising by, on average, £45.

This suggests loyal customers who choose to stay with the same insurer are not taking advantage of price reductions available by shopping around.

Confused.com also pointed out that, worryingly, 59% stayed with the same insurer rather than seeking out a better deal elsewhere.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at the comparison website, said that there are no prizes for being blindly loyal to a particular insurer.

"Finally drivers in Northern Ireland have had some good news with the end of rising car insurance costs in sight," she said.

"However, it's clear that many motorists are not seeing these savings reflected in their renewal letters, so it's more important than ever to shop around if they want to get a better deal."

"Being loyal doesn't always pay, so to get the message across to cost-burdened drivers, Confused.com is guaranteeing to beat the price insurers are charging at point of renewal.

"If we can't beat it, we'll give you the difference, plus £20."

Despite recent price drops, some drivers are facing more expensive car insurance costs than others - in particular men.

UK men are now paying £95 more than women, while young male drivers aged 17-20 are still paying the most of any demographic, £2,348 on average, compared to the £1,699 paid by their female counterparts.

Meanwhile, female drivers aged between 61 and 65 are paying the least - less than half the national average - at £363.

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