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Dáil Éireann - Private Members Business (Fianna Fáil)
Wednesday 17 May 2017

“That Dáil Éireann:

notes that:
— spiralling business and motor insurance costs are undermining the competitiveness of the State and pressuring businesses and households;

— the National Competitiveness Council has cited the cost of doing business, of which insurance is a major contributor, as a major concern to businesses across the country;

— as of 2014, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) employed over 900,000people in Ireland;

— business insurance, specifically public liability and employer liability insurance, is a major and growing cost of doing business in Ireland and is particularly a major issue
for SMEs;

— many SMEs have experienced business insurance cost increases of between 6 per cent and 15 per cent according to research from the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association;

— increased insurance excess and insurance exclusions are becoming an ever increasing issue for all businesses;

— the practice of insurance companies using non-disclosure at the point of a claim for the sole purpose of avoiding payment, when such discoveries and enquiries should
have been made at the proposal stage, is unacceptable;

— motor insurance has increased by 11.6 per cent in 2014, 30.8 per cent in 2015 and 8.9 per cent in 2016; and

— while monthly motor insurance inflation in 2017 has remained level, individuals, families and businesses are facing unsustainably high insurance premiums;
further notes that:

— a motion was passed by it on 9th June, 2016, urging the Government to act on this issue;

— the Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach published the Report on the Rising Costs of Motor Insurance setting out a series of recommendations;

— the Government only published its Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance as late as January 2017;

— only ten action points were scheduled for completion by the end of the first quarter of 2017, more than three years after the explosion in motor insurance premiums began;

— three of these action points have yet to be completed; and

— there has been complete inaction on tackling business insurance costs; and calls on the Government to:

— urgently complete the remaining action points set out in the Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance, which were set to be completed by the end of March 2017;

— amend legislation and require insurers to provide a breakdown of the premium cost to the customer and to have this completed before the current deadline of the end of June 2018;

— develop a general protocol that requires insurance companies to notify policyholders of claims made against them before settlement and to have this done before the current deadline of the end of December 2017;

— establish a national claims information database before the current deadline of the end of June 2018;

— have the Personal Injuries Commission report before its current deadlines of the end of December 2017, and the end of March 2018;

— establish a fully functioning database to identify uninsured drivers compelling insurance companies to provide the driver license number before the current deadline of the end of December 2018;

— establish a clear timeline for the Cost of Insurance Working Group to complete its report on employer liability and public liability;

— extend this assessment to other relevant areas of business insurance, including an assessment of the extent to which insurance excess and insurance exclusions are being
used at the expense of customers;

— undertake a comprehensive study on the cost of obtaining all insurance to businesses with the aim of providing transparency to the sector and in order to track developments in the market;

— bring forward legislation to enhance transparency in the sector by requiring insurance companies to provide a detailed breakdown of premiums for business customers;

— require insurance companies to inform business customers of the fact that a claim has been made and/or settled against them and the details of that claim;

— extend the Personal Injuries Commission to employer liability insurance and public liability insurance; and

— address the issue of insurance companies using non-disclosure at the point of a claim to avoid payment when such discoveries and enquiries should have been made at the
proposal stage.”

— Michael McGrath, Bobby Aylward, John Brassil, Declan Breathnach, James Browne, Mary Butler, Thomas Byrne, Jackie Cahill, Dara Calleary, Pat Casey, Shane Cassells, Jack Chambers, Lisa M. Chambers, Niall Collins, Barry Cowen, John Curran, Stephen S. Donnelly, Timmy Dooley, Sean Fleming, Pat the Cope Gallagher, Seán Haughey, Billy Kelleher, John Lahart, James Lawless, Marc MacSharry, Micheál Martin, Charlie McConalogue, John McGuinness, Aindrias Moynihan, Michael Moynihan, Eugene Murphy, Margaret Murphy O'Mahony, Darragh O'Brien, Jim O'Callaghan, Éamon Ó Cuív, Willie
O'Dea, Kevin O'Keeffe, Fiona O'Loughlin, Frank O'Rourke, Anne Rabbitte, Eamon
Scanlon, Brendan Smith, Niamh Smyth, Robert Troy. [12 May, 2017]