Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Questions (790)

Robert Troy

Question:

790. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on whether a driver who has had his or her licence suspended for two years should continue to pay higher than normal insurance premiums seven years after the licence has been reinstated. [23213/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

Insurance companies are private companies. Neither the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport nor the Central Bank of Ireland has the power to direct insurance companies on the pricing of insurance products. The EU framework for insurance expressly prohibits Member States from adopting rules which require prior approval of the pricing or terms and conditions of insurance products. The provision of insurance cover and the price at which it is offered are commercial matters for insurance companies and are based on an assessment of the risks they are willing to accept and adequate provisioning to meet those risks. These are considered by insurance companies on a case by case basis.

The most recent Consumer Price Index showed that the average cost of motor insurance actually fell more than 24% between its peak in July 2016 and April 2019.

The Cost of Insurance Working Group chaired by Minister of State at the Department of Finance Michael D'Arcy TD is looking at the circumstances behind the rising cost of motor insurance and how to improve the situation, but will still not be able to directly affect the actual costs of motor insurance. A copy of the Cost of Insurance Working Group Report and subsequent updates can be found on the Department of Finance website. Recommendation 2 of the Report relates to insurers providing additional information on the premium breakdown to consumers. The Central Bank of Ireland published the Non-Life Insurance (Provision of Information) (Renewal of Policy of Insurance) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 on 21 December 2018 and these will come into effect on 01 November 2019.

Insurance Ireland operates a free insurance information service for those who have queries, complaints or difficulties in relation to obtaining insurance. All calls regarding refusal to quote, or quotations that are so excessive as to be in effect a refusal, should be directed to Insurance Ireland by phone at (01) 676 1820, by email at declined@insuranceireland.eu or by post at 5 Harbourmaster Place, IFSC, Dublin 1 quoting the Declined Cases Agreement.