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Insurance Coverage

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 9 November 2021

Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Questions (124)

Joe Flaherty


124. Deputy Joe Flaherty asked the Minister for Finance if he will report on recent engagements he has had with the insurance sector in relation to the high cost of insurance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54349/21]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

Firstly, I wish to reassure the Deputy that I understand the difficulty facing individuals, businesses and community and voluntary groups, regarding the cost and availability of insurance. Accordingly, Government has prioritised insurance reform through the Action Plan for Insurance Reform. As the Deputy may be aware, the first Action Plan Implementation Report was published last July, and shows that work is progressing well to implement the Plan, with 34 of the 66 actions contained therein now completed.

One of the key achievements in the first half of this year was the implementation of the Personal Injuries Guidelines, which was realised several months ahead of schedule. Early data from PIAB suggests the Guidelines are having desired impact with awards level down by over 40%. It is my expectation that insurers will pass on these savings to customers in the shape of reduced premiums across their product lines, which is a public commitment they previously made to members of the Oireachtas. Minister Fleming also has had number of positive engagements with the CEOs of the main insurers operating here on the matter, and he intends to meet with them again later this month to review their ongoing progress and to remind them of commitments made.

The Deputy may also be aware that the Central Bank recently published the first National Claims Information Database (NCID) report on employers' liability (EL), public liability (PL) and commercial property insurance. It demonstrated that while many businesses in Ireland are accessing affordable insurance, some are encountering difficulties. This report is a rich source of data which will assist in further policy formation. In addition to this, Government recently agreed the drafting of legislation which will help increase transparency and provide enhanced protections for consumers.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to assure the Deputy that securing a more sustainable and competitive market through deepening and widening the supply of insurance in Ireland remains a key policy priority for this Government. In this regard, it is my intention to work with my Government colleagues to ensure that implementation of the Action Plan can have a positive impact on the affordability and availability of insurance across all sectors in the economy.