Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has again called on the Central Bank and Competition & Consumer Protection Commission to open investigations into the use of dual pricing by the insurance industry. This comes after Aviva admitted in yesterday’s Finance Committee that they use dual pricing to hike the renewal premiums of a third of their customers above the average price.
Speaking today after the publication of a report by the Financial Conduct Authority in Britain into the use of dual pricing, Deputy Doherty called for the practice to be investigated and said that Sinn Féin will act to protect consumers and take on the industry.
The Donegal TD said:
“Today the Financial Conduct Authority published its interim report on the issue of unfair pricing in the British insurance market. The findings are clear.
“The report has found that the insurance market is not working for consumers, with companies using dual pricing to artificially hike premiums for renewing customers. The report estimates that if these customers had paid the genuine price that reflected their risk, they would have said a total of £1.2 billion.
“The report also found that consumers do not know that this is happening, and that disproportionately affects vulnerable groups who are from low-income households or are less likely to understand how renewal affects their premiums.
“We know that this practice is happening in Ireland. Many of the insurance companies that operate here do so in Britain also. Only yesterday at the Finance Committee, Aviva, who also operate in Britain, admitted to using dual pricing to hike premiums on loyal and unsuspecting customers.
“Price discrimination is wrong, anti-consumer, and targets vulnerable groups.
“Last week the Finance Committee accepted my request to begin an investigation into this issue. I have called on the Central Bank to begin an investigation into the practice and will be meeting the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission to make a similar case.
“Sinn Féin are acting to protect consumers and put an end to unfair pricing by the insurance industry.
“In the coming months I will be moving my Consumer Insurance Contracts Bill to final stage in the Dáil, and Sinn Féin will be bringing forward recommendations to end the unfair practice of dual pricing by the industry.”