Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Ceisteanna (206)

Pat Deering


206. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Finance the progress of the motor insurance key information report of the cost of insurance; the controls in place regarding the high cost of car insurance faced by specific professions (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21281/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

In relation to the Deputy’s first query, the Second Motor Insurance Key Information Report was published on my Department’s website on Friday 11 May: http://www.finance.gov.ie/updates/second-motor-insurance-key-information-report-may-2018/ . The Report is the second in a series of reports designed to address Recommendation 12 of the Cost of Insurance Working Group, which aim to increase the level of transparency of the insurance sector in advance of the establishment of the National Claims Information Database.

This Report provides information on overall ultimate claims costs trends from 2011 to 2016 for Insurance Ireland companies representing about 90% of the Irish motor insurance market. Ultimate claim costs are made up of paid claims (including partial payments), reserves/estimates of the amount yet to be paid and a further provision calculated by actuaries to allow for claims and information not yet reported at the valuation date. The Report breaks the information on ultimate claims costs trends down into Third Party Injury ultimate claims costs and Non-Injury ultimate claims costs including claims cost arising from damage, fire and theft, as well as windscreen claims. In addition, it provides details on earned premium income and exposure in the sector for the same years.

This Report represents a more detailed breakdown of claims costs compared with the first report and is another important step towards the establishment of the National Claims Information Database.

In relation to the second part of the question, I note that the Deputy is highlighting the premiums faced by those in particular professions, musicians in the example referenced.

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 as to the pricing level or terms or conditions that they should apply in respect of particular categories of drivers or vehicles.

In making their individual decisions on whether to offer cover and what terms to apply, insurers will use a combination of rating factors, which include the age and type of the vehicle, as well as the age of the driver, the relevant claims record and driving experience, the number of drivers, the profession of the driver and how the car is used, etc. My understanding is that insurers 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, meaning that in relation to particular categories, different insurance companies will have different views.