I would like to begin by assuring the Deputy that insurance reform is a key priority for this Government and this is reflected in the Programme for Government. Implementation of this agenda is a key issue for myself and Minister of State Fleming as well as my other Cabinet colleagues, especially those that will be working with my Department on this issue.
As the Deputy is aware, the “Programme for Government – Our shared Future” document lays out commitments that are aimed at addressing consumer and business concerns on the cost of insurance. These include increasing transparency; reviewing duty of care legislation; looking at how to further enhance the role of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, and increasing competition in the market. Making progress on this work will involve a cross-departmental approach and will build and expand upon previous work done by the Cost of Insurance Working Group.
The issue of insurance reform was the subject of discussion at a recent meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Recovery and Investment and there have also been a number of meetings, held at Ministerial level, chaired by An Tánaiste on the issue of insurance since the formation of the Government in July. Work is progressing to ensure that this agenda can be implemented in a coordinated fashion in order to ensure maximum effect and benefit for insurance policyholders. In that regard, both the Tánaiste and I are keen to progress a Whole-of-Government structure which will ensure these reforms can be implemented in an effective and timely manner.
In conclusion, the Deputy can rest assured that insurance reform is a key priority issue for the new Government and that Minister of State Fleming and our officials are working to ensure that progress is made in this policy area.