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Financial Services

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 1 June 2021

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Ceisteanna (270)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

270. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the number of meetings he or the Minister for State with responsibility for financial services, credit unions and insurance have held with insurers and underwriters since 1 June 2020 regarding professional indemnity insurance for construction professions and construction-related professions with particular reference to fire safety concerns and the withdrawal of underwriters from the market. [29654/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

At the outset, I would like to note that the Government recognises the concerns felt by many groups, including in the construction and related professions, around the cost and availability of insurance cover. Addressing this issue is a priority for this Government, as is reflected in the prioritisation of insurance reform. The Government’s Action Plan for Insurance Reform sets out 66 actions which aim to improve both the cost and availability of insurance for consumers, business and other groups, including by increasing competition.

Minister of State Fleming and I have held several meetings with representatives of the insurance industry and have raised the issue of professional indemnity cover, including for construction-related sectors.

In his capacity as the Chair of the Office to Promote Competition in the Insurance Market, which was established within my Department as part of this comprehensive insurance reform agenda, Minister of State Fleming has also engaged with sectoral stakeholders to understand gaps in the insurance market with a view to expanding the risk appetite of existing insurers. The Office is also involved in exploring opportunities for new entrants in order to increase the availability of insurance, including specialised cover in areas such as Professional Indemnity insurance.

While the various structural factors that have contributed to the hardening of the Professional Indemnity insurance market are primarily international in origin, implementation of the Action Plan should nonetheless assist in attracting such insurers into the Irish insurance market when it begins to soften again, including in the construction sector. My officials will continue to monitor the situation.

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