Progress on insurance reform will be measured against results – Pearse Doherty TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance, Pearse Doherty TD, has called on the Government to accelerate reforms in the insurance sector as businesses and voluntary groups continue to face difficulties accessing affordable insurance.
The Donegal TD also called on the Government to support his Judicial Council (Amendment) Bill which would hold insurance companies to account and pressure them to reduce prices in line with the reduced cost of claims.
Speaking today, Teachta Doherty said:
“Today’s third report of the Government’s Action Plan for Insurance Reform underlines the need for further reforms in the sector.
“Despite measures taken to date, small businesses and voluntary groups continue to struggle with unaffordable insurance.
“Many continue to face high premiums while others are unable to find insurance cover, threatening their viability.
“This is despite the recently adopted Personal Injuries Guidelines leading to a reduction in personal injury awards through PIAB by 38 percent.
“It is clear that insurance companies are not passing the benefit of these reforms through to their customers, undermining the credibility of reforms.
“These reforms were passed by the Oireachtas to benefit consumers, not insurers.
“My Judicial Council (Amendment) Bill, currently before the Finance Committee, would require the insurance industry to report to the Central Bank detailing how it has or hasn’t passed on these savings to customers.
“This would allow the Dáil to hold the industry to account and apply downward pressure on prices.
“The Government should now support this legislation.
“The insurance industry must act in good faith – but for too long they haven’t.
“From price discrimination against loyal customers to restricting new-entrant access to its data sharing system, we have too many examples of the industry protecting itself at the expense of consumers.
“Reforms must be accelerated.
“To date, there is little evidence that the Office to Promote Competition in the Insurance Market has delivered, while reforms to the duty of care are yet to be completed.
“The insurance crisis can be solved, but only if reforms are passed onto customers rather than being pocketed by insurers.”