Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Ceisteanna (171)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

171. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the membership of the cost of insurance working group; the meetings the group held since its inception; the date and purpose of each meeting in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49048/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

The Cost of Insurance Working Group (CIWG) was established in July 2016 to undertake a detailed examination of the factors contributing to the 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, while bearing in mind the need to maintain a stable insurance sector.  It was initially chaired by then-Minister of State Eoghan Murphy TD until June 2017, and has since been chaired by Minister of State Michael D’Arcy TD.  The CIWG has met in plenary format 35 times since its inception, and a 36th meeting is to take place in early December. A list of these meetings and the dates are included in tabular format as follows. 

Meeting

Date

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 1st meeting

20 July 2016

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 2nd meeting

01 September 2016

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 3rd meeting

15 September 2016

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 4th meeting

23 September 2016

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 5th meeting

29 September 2016

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 6th meeting

13 October 2016

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 7th meeting

25 October 2016

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 8th meeting

27 October 2016

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 9th meeting

08 November 2016

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 10th meeting

17 November 2016

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 11th meeting

29 November 2016

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 12th meeting

13 December 2016

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 13th meeting

26 January 2017

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 14th meeting

08 February 2017

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 15th meeting

21 February 2017

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 16th meeting

02 March 2017

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 17th meeting

21 March 2017

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 18th meeting

02 May 2017

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 19th meeting

23 May 2017

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 20th meeting

13 June 2017

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 21st meeting

05 July 2017

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 22nd meeting

26 July 2017

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 23rd meeting

06 September 2017

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 24th meeting

13 September 2017

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 25th meeting

04 October 2017

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 26th meeting

25 October 2017

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 27th meeting

06 December 2017

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 28th meeting

06 March 2018

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 29th meeting

17 April 2018

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 30th meeting

19 June 2018

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 31st meeting

23 October 2018

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 32nd meeting

22 January 2019

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 33rd meeting

26 March 2019

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 34th meeting

11 June 2019

Cost of Insurance Working Group – 35th meeting

17 September 2019

The membership of the CIWG includes representatives from the following Departments and Offices:

- Department of Finance

- Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation

- Department of Justice and Equality

- Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

- Central Bank of Ireland

- Personal Injuries Assessment Board

- State Claims Agency

The individual names of members are available in both of the Reports of the CIWG, which have been published on the Department of Finance’s website. 

With regard to the purpose of these meetings, I do not believe it to be feasible to list this out on a meeting by meeting basis, however I would note that in general the purpose of the meetings was to ensure that the CIWG was able to produce its two primary reports on motor insurance and on employer and public liability insurance within the timeframes set out to it by Government.  The production of these reports involved a considerable amount of input from members of the CIWG, who also met regularly through a number of sub-groups to look at specific areas for reform.  It also involved an extensive consultation process and the CIWG met with various stakeholders, including Insurance Ireland, various insurance companies, AA Ireland, Auto Records Limited, the Consumers Association of Ireland, the Freight Transport Association of Ireland, the Irish Brokers Association, the Irish Car Rental Council, the Irish Road Haulage Association, the Law Society of Ireland and Tiomanaí Tacsaí na hÉireann, in respect of its the Report on Motor Insurance.  It also met with the Hotels Federation of Ireland, IBEC, ISME, the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI), the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA), the Retail Grocery Dairy & Allied Trades Association (RGDATA), Chambers Ireland, the Law Society of Ireland, and the Health and Safety Authority, Insurance Ireland, a number of CEOs from insurers operating in the employer liability and public liability insurance market and representatives from Lloyd’s of London as part of its consultations on the Report on Employer and Public Liability Insurance.  In addition, submissions received from all interested parties were considered as part of the process.

Following publication of the two reports, in January 2017 and January 2018 respectively, the CIWG has continued to meet so as to ensure that progress is being made related to the implementation of the various recommendations by the relevant Departments and bodies, which make up its membership.  The purpose of its meetings has therefore been to discuss issues related to implementation, including the Personal Injuries Commission’s recommendations, as well as to take stock of developments in the wider insurance reform agenda.  The Minister of State, in his capacity as Chair of the CIWG, has also had an “open door” policy in relation to meeting various stakeholders such as businesses and community groups that have been experiencing difficulties in affording or being able to avail of insurance. 

I think it is also important to mention that the relevant Ministers of State, as Chairs of the CIWG, have appeared before the FIN-PER Joint Oireachtas Committee to update them on the CIWG’s work, including progress it has made in relation to implementing its recommendations.  This has happened on seven occasions since 2016 and I believe that this demonstrates the importance the CIWG places on ensuring the Oireachtas has been informed and involved throughout its work.

Finally, I would like to commend the CIWG and its members regarding the work they have been taking to ensure that necessary reforms to the insurance sector are being carried out in line with the mandate that was given to it at the outset.  I believe that these reforms are having a significant impact with regard to private motor insurance (CSO figures from October 2019 show that the price of motor insurance is now 27.1% lower than the July 2016 peak).  However, I believe more needs to be done and in this context, I believe that the CIWG is as relevant now as it ever has been and it is likely to continue to meet into 2020 as implementation of remaining recommendations continues.  The issue of the cost and availability of insurance, in particular to certain businesses and community groups, remains a priority for the Government.

Question No. 172 answered with Question No. 151.