Thursday, 7 February 2019

Ceisteanna (59, 60, 61, 67)

Martin Kenny

Ceist:

59. Deputy Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to issues regarding farm insurance that farmers are unable to attain cover for livestock other than sheep that are worried or attacked by dogs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6091/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Martin Kenny

Ceist:

60. Deputy Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to issues regarding farm insurance by which farmers cannot obtain insurance cover for the theft of livestock; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6095/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Martin Kenny

Ceist:

61. Deputy Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to issues regarding farm insurance by which insurance companies are refusing to provide cover for working dogs over five years of age; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6097/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Martin Kenny

Ceist:

67. Deputy Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the fact that insurance companies are refusing to provide insurance cover to farmers for worrying of livestock other that sheep, theft of livestock and for working dogs over five years of age; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6096/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 59 to 61, inclusive, and 67 together.

As the Deputy is aware, the Cost of Insurance Working Group (CIWG), chaired by the Minister of State for Financial Services and Insurance, Mr. Michael D’Arcy T.D., has undertaken an examination of the factors contributing to the increasing cost of insurance in order to identify what short, medium and long-term measures could be introduced to help reduce the cost of insurance for consumers and businesses. I refer the Deputy to recent responses to Parliamentary Questions for more detail on the CIWG’s two primary reports, the Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance (4215/19) and the Report on the Cost of Employer and Public Liability Insurance (4742/19), respectively.

As part of the formal consultation processes for the two reports, there was engagement between the CIWG and representatives from the Irish Farmers’ Association and Meat Industry Ireland, as well as some of the main providers of insurance for the agriculture sector in Ireland. I am also aware that Minister of State D’Arcy met with a delegation from the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society in March 2018. I have been informed that issues related to the specific types of insurance referred to by the Deputy were not raised during any of these consultations, nor have recent representations been received in that regard.

Nevertheless, and notwithstanding that I have no role regarding how insurance companies price specific risks or the type of cover they provide, my officials contacted Insurance Ireland in relation to the matters raised in your question. I understand from their response that at least one prominent provider of insurance to the agriculture sector in this country offers products which include cover for accidental injury to livestock, for livestock theft, and for working dogs up to and including the age of 8 years.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission website recommends that consumers “shop around” and “always get quotes from several insurance providers when you need to get or renew insurance”. While this advice specifically refers to car insurance, it can also be applied to other forms of insurance.

Finally, the free Insurance Information Service run by Insurance Ireland may be in a position to impart useful relevant information to the Deputy and/or his constituent(s), as applicable – the contact details are: feedback@insuranceireland.eu or 01-6761914.