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Raids on insurance companies show that industry still has questions to answer – Conway-Walsh

4 July, 2017 - by Rose Conway-Walsh

Speaking in the Seanad today Mayo Senator Rose Conway-Walsh has welcomed the action taken by the European Competition Directorate against insurance companies this morning.

Senator Conway-Walsh said;

"As a member of the Finance Committee I sat through many hours of hearings with the insurance companies trying to get answers for the thousands of people who saw ridiculous increases in their premiums in recent years. Some of these increases were as high as 35% in one year, with people  being given no reason for the increases.

"We suspected that all did not add up. Different companies blamed a claims culture as the sole reason for these increases. It became clear that any increase in claims could not account for a 35% increase in premiums. It was clear also that the Central Banks as the de facto regulator was not getting all the data it needed to investigate these hikes.

"I was consistent in my warning to the companies that these massive increases were impacting badly on people in Mayo who rely on their car to access employment and vital services. There was no indication given that the increases would stop, leaving many people fearing if they would be able to afford the next renewal.

"The response of the Government has been to point out that the increases have levelled off. This still does not address the fact that people are still paying many times more what they paid a few years ago, many of whom have made no claims at all.

"I hope that these raids will form the start of a thorough and forensic investigation into an industry that has not been helpful or forthright in answering.

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