The cost of insurance working group is chaired by the Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Deputy D'Arcy. My Department has responsibility for 12 of the 71 actions arising from the cost of insurance working group report published in January 2017. Quarterly update reports are issued by the Department of Finance and are available on its website.
The current status of my Department's actions are that six are complete and six are due for completion in quarter 4 of 2018. The six actions completed to date relate to the holding of formal discussions between the advisory committee on small public service vehicles and Insurance Ireland, which is broken into two actions, with those discussions having commenced; establishing a fully functioning database to identify uninsured drivers, with insurance companies compelled to provide the driving licence number for such purposes; the submission of a detailed project plan for the development of a master licence record; and a requirement on the insurance industry to promote compliance with road safety legislation. My Department remains committed to the delivery of the remaining actions arising out of the recommendations of the working group.
As regards the cost of motor insurance, the main contributing factor in my area of responsibility is road safety and the improvement of road safety. In that respect, the implementation of the actions set out in the Government’s road safety strategy for the period 2013 to 2020 should, over time and taking account of the recent mid-term review of the strategy, lead to a reduction in road traffic collisions, fatalities and injuries, and material damage claims. This should make an important contribution to reducing the cost of motor insurance as the insurance industry has acknowledged it has done over the past decade and a half.
There is a rather larger duty upon us to reduce insurance premiums by way of having a policy that increases road safety. I believe the Deputy will agree that we are doing that very effectively, and with his support in very many cases. We have reduced the number of collisions and, it is hoped, the number of road deaths, and introduced legislation that has contributed enormously to road safety.