Thursday, 11 March 2004

Questions (86)

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

84 Mr. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the extent to which insurance costs here are out of line with such costs in other European and non-European countries; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8208/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Enterprise)

The latest comparative figures available in Ireland are in respect of motor insurance, and are shown in the motor insurance advisory board, MIAB, report published in April 2002. The next MIAB report is due to be published in the middle of this year.

In Table 1 below from the McAuley report — Second Report of the Special Working Group on Personal Injury Compensation 2001 — it can be seen that in 1997 motor premiums in Ireland, as a proportion of GDP, were higher than in all other countries except the United States.

In Table 2 below "1998 Claims and Premiums per Vehicle — Europe" which is taken from the MIAB report, Ireland reflects the highest claims cost and premium per vehicle. It may be noted that the insurance cost reflected for a particular jurisdiction bears no direct relationship to a country's safety record as examined in the chapter on accidents in the MIAB report. The figures in Table 2 are based on figures obtained from the CEA, Comité Européen des Assurances, 2001 report. CEA is the Association of Insurance Federations.

Caution must be exercised in making comparisons with other countries because there are considerable variances between countries on the extent to which losses arising from accidents are paid by the state rather than through personal insurance policies.

The Deputy will be aware that one of the main aims of the insurance reform programme is to tackle the area of high claims costs in Ireland.

Table 1

1997 Motor Insurance Premium as % of GDP

Country

%

USA

1.8

Ireland

1.6

France

1.1

Germany

1.1

Netherlands

1.0

Canada

0.9

Denmark

0.8

New Zealand

1.0%*incl tax & fuel levy

Sweden

0.6

Table 2

1998 Claims and Premiums per Vehicle — Europe

Country

No. 000’s vehicles

Claims incurred €m

Claims Inc./Veh€

Motor GWP€m

GWP/Vehicle€

B

5,454

2,039

373.85

2,395

439.13

CH

4,085

1791

438.43

2,436

596.33

D

48,502

19,933

410.97

20,032

413.01

DK

2,175

946

434.94

1,124

516.78

E

21,306

4637

217.64

5,307

249.08

SF

2,402

607

252.71

665

276.85

F

34,211

10,828

316.51

13,923

406.97

GB

27,538

11,602

421.31

11,880

431.40

GR

4,323

576

133.24

630

145.73

IRL

1,472

978

664.40

1,097

745.24

I

41,835

13,545

323.77

14,306

341.96

NL

7,055

2,570

364.28

3,279

464.78

P

5,000

1,012

202.40

1,376

275.20

S

4,198

1,234

293.95

1179

280.85

Total

209,556

72,298

79,629

Average

14,968

5,164

346.31

5,688

398.81

Question Nos. 85 and 86 answered with Question No. 79.
Question No. 87 answered with QuestionNo. 57.