'I'm gobsmacked and devastated' - driver's €19k insurance quote
A motorist was shocked when his annual motor insurance renewal quote rocketed to an incredible €19,000.
Meath publican Brian Kelly (48) rang Liberty Insurance to point out what he thought was an administrative error.
However, the company told him the policy price of €19,368.26 for his 2007 1.6-litre Toyota Avensis was correct.
The increase was more than €15,000 extra on his insurance costs for last year, and over €18,500 more than his 2016 insurance policy of €800.
Mr Kelly, who is a director of the suicide awareness voluntary group Save Our Sons and Daughters (SOSAD) was left scratching his head when Liberty told him that the huge premium was because of two outstanding claims against him.
"I'm in shock. Sure, who could afford to pay €19,000 for car insurance? You'd buy a new car for that," he said.
"I'm with Liberty Insurance 17 years and had nine years of a no-claims bonus intact.
"I've had two tips since Christmas 2016 on two separate occasions in Navan and Slane.
"I wasn't going at speed when I hit both from behind. I got out of the car and swapped insurance details. There seemed to be very little damage, if any, to the vehicles and the drivers got out and seemed fine. In one of the incidents, there was even a garda driving behind us who stopped for a few minutes but left us to sort everything out.
"When I heard there were two personal injuries claims against me pending, I was both gobsmacked and devastated."
Mr Kelly now has a month to seek new insurance cover but does not think that anyone else will insure him because of the incidents.
"I can't afford to pay €19,000, but I need my car," he added.
"I've been a director of SOSAD since 2009 and do a lot of fundraising. What am I going to do now? To be quoted €19,000 is ludicrous in itself. I know after the first incident in 2016, the premium went from €800 to €4,000 and I paid it.
"But this jump is completely out of the ballpark."
Mr Kelly has contacted the Financial Services Ombudsman to make a complaint.
"I hold up my hands to the accidents, but I just can't understand how a quote of over €19,000 can be justified.
"I believe that the claim culture in this country will literally drive us all off the roads and has to be looked at," he added.
Liberty Insurance did not repond to a request for comment.