Spiraling cost of claims and compensation leads to plan
A new Action Plan for Insurance Reform launched by Laois Offaly TD and the Minister of State at the Department of Finance TD Sean Fleming TD proposes strict guidelines on insurance payouts and an examination of unfair car insurance pricing.
A statement from the TD said this action plan is a whole of Government approach to make Ireland’s insurance sector more competitive and consumer-friendly.
The Fianna Fáil TD said the plan sets out 66 actions to bring down costs for consumers and business; introduce more competition into the market; tackle fraud and reduce costs on business and community organisations.
He highlighted the following key proposals:
- Establish an office to encourage greater competition in the market. This new office will be chaired by Minister of State Fleming.
- Examine unfair pricing especially in the motor insurance sector.
- Introduce new strict guidelines on an appropriate level of awards.
- Enhance the role of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board.
- Insurance fraud data is published and acted upon.
- Place perjury on a statutory footing, making the offence easier to prosecute.
- Strengthen the enforcement powers of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).
- Examine the duty of care legislation to protect businesses and sporting/community groups.
- Actions will be undertaken and delivered by Ministers in the Departments of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Finance and Justice over the next 18 months. The Sub-Group on Insurance Reform within the Cabinet Committee on Economic Recovery will make meet regularly, engage with stakeholders and publish progress of actions every six months.
The Laois Offaly TD was given responsibility for Financial Services, Credit Unions and Insurance when appointed to the Department of Finance.
“This whole of Government approach demonstrates our commitment to deliver a more competitive insurance market for consumers and businesses. We have spoken to all the insurance companies and stakeholders about how we can reduce premiums and I am satisfied these actions will deliver on this commitment over time. Progress has been made on motor, but many businesses have not felt the benefits of this.
"My role is to encourage competition but also seek out a clear and transparent analysis of all costs associated with insurance premiums. Over the past couple of years, legal costs, fraud and big profits of insurance companies have hurt Irish shoppers. Competition in Ireland has been shaped by the fact that we only have one local insurance company, which makes us reliant on multinationals,” he said.
The TD added that he would soon chair the first meeting of a new cross-departmental office which will take a strategic approach to promote competition by breaking down barriers to reform and enhancing policy co-ordination across the State.