Thursday, 22 November 2018

Questions (62)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

62. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Finance when the benefits of the review of the motor insurance sector will accrue in terms of reduced premiums; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48741/18]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

As you are aware, the Cost of Insurance Working Group published its Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance on 10 January 2017.  The Report makes 33 recommendations with 71 associated actions to be carried out in agreed timeframes, set out in an Action Plan within the Report. 

Work is ongoing on the implementation of the recommendations by the relevant Government Departments and Agencies and there is a commitment within the Report that the Working Group will prepare quarterly updates on its progress.  The seventh such update was published earlier this month and shows that of the 59 separate applicable deadlines within the Action Plan set to the end of Q3 2018, 45 relate to actions which have now been completed.  Substantial work has also been undertaken in respect of the nine action points categorised as “ongoing”.

I believe that the continued implementation of the recommendations from the Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance, in parallel with the implementation of the recommendations from the recently-published Report on the Cost of Employer and Public Liability Insurance, will make a difference to the pricing of insurance premiums.  It is envisaged that the implementation of all the recommendations from the two primary Reports cumulatively, with the appropriate levels of commitment and cooperation from all relevant stakeholders, will achieve the objective of delivering fairer premiums for consumers and businesses alike. 

In this regard, it should be noted that the most recent CSO data (for October 2018) indicates that private motor insurance premiums have decreased by 22.9% since peaking in July 2016.  There was a drop of 9.1% year-on-year in October, the 19th consecutive month with a year-on-year reduction.

While the CSO statistics indicate a greater degree of stability on an overall basis, these figures represent a broad average and therefore there are many people who may still be seeing increases.  However, I am hopeful that this greater stability in pricing will be maintained with the result that premiums should continue to fall from the very high levels of mid-2016. Furthermore, it remains important for consumers to shop around when it comes to premium renewals.