Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Motor Insurance and Use of Safety Belts.

13.

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will consider the possibility of retaining insurance premiums at their present level for such motorists as are prepared to wear safety belts when driving.

The premium in an individual instance is ordinarily a matter between the insurance company and the policy-holder. It would be open to any motorist to enquire from his insurance company whether the company would be prepared to adjust his premium rate in the event of special safety devices being adopted.

Does the Minister not consider that he could have had direct consultations with the insurance companies on this matter, in view of the fact that he stated in the House last week that negotiations were going on about increased premiums? Further, is the Minister aware that Swedish insurance companies are not raising the premiums in cases where safety belts are worn?

The Minister's functions in relation to insurance are laid down in statute law and they exclude discussions on matters of detailed procedure in regard to premiums.

But he said last week in the House that he was having continued discussions with the insurance companies.