Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Questions (136)

Noel Rock

Question:

136. Deputy Noel Rock asked the Minister for Finance if measures will be introduced to prevent insurance companies from refusing insurance to family homes that are listed buildings; his plans for incentives to encourage insurers not to refuse insuring family homes that are listed buildings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21347/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

As Minister for Finance, I am responsible for the development of the legal framework governing financial regulation. Neither I nor the Central Bank of Ireland can interfere in the provision or pricing of insurance products, as these matters are of a commercial nature, and are determined by insurance companies based on an assessment of the risks they are willing to accept. This position is reinforced by the EU framework for insurance which expressly prohibits Member States from adopting rules which require insurance companies to obtain prior approval of the pricing or terms and conditions of insurance products. Consequently, I am not in a position to direct insurance companies to provide cover to any particular property type, including listed buildings, in the case where they are family homes.

It is my understanding that insurers use a combination of rating factors in making their individual decisions on whether to offer insurance cover and what terms to apply. My understanding also is that insurance companies do not all use the same combination of rating factors, and as a result prices and availability of cover varies across the market. In addition, insurance companies will price in accordance with their own past claims experience.

Finally, Insurance Ireland operates a free Insurance Information Service for those who have queries, complaints or difficulties in relation to obtaining insurance. Insurance Ireland can be contacted at feedback@insuranceireland.eu or 01-6761914.