I requested a statement from the Minister on this issue to see what exactly he’s doing to rectify the current situation. What is most worrying is that in fact claims have been decreasing, contrary to the excuses being made by the insurers about spiralling claims amounting to spiralling premiums; the figures year on year certainty don’t back up this excuse. This is no doubt something the working group on the Cost of Motor Insurance will look at but, as you can read in the Ministers answer below, for 2017 it seems that the ordinary joe soap will be the one who has to pick up the bill, nothing new there when it comes to corporate entities and big business!
While I welcome the undertaking of the working group examining the cost of car insurance it is clear 2018 will be too late for many who simply cannot afford to be on the road. I have been contacted by people with in excess of 20 years no claims bonus and still seeing an increase of 30%; taxi drivers are being priced out of the industry therefore out of a livelihood. However there is concerns with the manner in which judgements force the costs of failed firms such as Setanta on to the rest of the industry; which the industry seemingly happily passes on to customers.
DÁIL QUESTIONS addressed to the Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan)
by Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan
for ORAL ANSWER on 17/01/2017
“To ask the Minister for Finance the status on the report of the working group examining spiralling car insurance costs; when he envisages the findings to be acted upon in the interests of motorists that have seen hikes in premiums; and if he will make a statement on the matter.”
- Maureen O’Sullivan T.D.
This was the response from the Minister of Finance Michael Noonan
The Working Group on the Cost of Motor Insurance, chaired by Minister of State Eoghan Murphy, completed its Report in December 2016. The Report was approved by the Government on 10 January 2017 and subsequently published. The Report contains 33 recommendations and 71 actions are detailed in an action plan with agreed timelines for implementation, covering six main themes:
Protecting the consumer
Improving data availability
Improving the personal injuries claims environment
Reducing the costs in the claims process
Reducing insurance fraud and uninsured driving, and
Promoting road safety and reducing collisions
The recommendations include actions to:
address the lack of transparency in the claims environment, through the establishment of a national claims information database which will be located in the Central Bank;
provide enhanced guidance in how to determine compensation for personal injuries claims, through the establishment of a Personal Injuries Commission;
address the increasing level of uninsured driving, through the establishment of a fully functioning database which will allow the Gardaí to check insurance compliance through the use of technology such as Automatic Number Plate Recognition; and
address the issue of suspected fraud, through the establishment of a database that will be funded by industry but held by an independent body and that will take into account data protection concerns.
A number of the actions are already underway and I am confident that the report’s 71 actions will be implemented by the end of 2018, with 45 due for completion this year.
While there is no silver bullet to reduce the cost of insurance, cooperation and commitment between all parties can deliver fairer premiums for consumers without unnecessary delay. This will lead to greater stability in the pricing of motor insurance and will help prevent the volatility that we have seen in the market in the past. It should also better facilitate potential new entrants to the market.
The Working Group will continue to meet in 2017 as the project enters its implementation phase.