The Deputy should note at the outset that as Minister for Finance, I have responsibility for the development of the legal framework governing financial regulation in Ireland. The relevant framework for the provision of life, non-life and reinsurance, and the supervision of that activity, is prescribed by EU Directives, principally the Solvency II Directive. As set out within Solvency II and the European Union (Insurance and Reinsurance) Regulations 2015 (S.I. No. 485 of 2015), the Irish transposing Regulations, there are 18 classes of non-life insurance. Employer liability and public liability insurance fall within the category of general liability insurance, under this regulatory framework.
In terms of day to day supervision of the insurance industry this is the responsibility of the Central Bank of Ireland. I understand that the Central Bank of Ireland also has a number of powers which allow it to issue codes of conduct or requirements to the regulated financial services sector. With respect to codes of conduct specifically for employers liability or public liability insurance, I am informed by the Central Bank of Ireland that it does not have any such codes. Having said that, it is important to note that The Central Bank has its Consumer Protection Code. That Code, which is a set of rules and principles that all regulated financial services firms must follow when providing financial products and services to consumers, also applies in respect of employers liability and public liability insurance. The definition of consumer in the Code covers natural persons, groups of persons, partnerships, small businesses with a turnover of less than €3 million annually and members of a credit union. The Code therefore covers a large number of businesses operating in the Irish market and offers a significant level of protection for such businesses in relation to their engagement with insurers.