Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has called on all parties to support Sinn Féin’s Consumer Insurance Contracts Bill, which reaches Report and Final Stages in the Dáil this afternoon.
This legislation would reform insurance contracts, increase transparency and tilt the balance in favour of the consumer.
Speaking ahead of today’s Bill, Deputy Doherty said:
“Rip-off insurance costs are squeezing incomes and closing down businesses across the State. People are wondering how their premiums can go up every year even though they haven’t even made a claim. The insurance market isn’t working for policyholders. For the past 3 years the Government have done nothing to reduce insurance costs.
“At the same time, companies are making massive profits while we are charged rip-off premiums. Despite the cost and number of claims going down, premiums continue to rise.
“Sinn Féin want to stamp out fraud, ban unfair pricing by insurance companies, reduce premiums and increase protections for consumers in insurance contracts.
“Our Consumer Insurance Contracts Bill, which reaches Report and Final Stages of the Dáil on Wednesday, would do just that, tilting the balance in favour of the consumer. By increasing transparency and strengthening the hand of the policyholder before, during and after the terms of their insurance contract.
“This legislation would go further than the Central Bank’s new regulations this month. They required companies to provide only the last year’s premium for customers renewing their motor insurance.
“This Bill would require companies to inform the customer of the past 3 years of premiums paid and claims received for all non-life insurance contracts. This would increase transparency and strengthen our hands when we look for a better deal each year.
“Any company that cancels a policy would have to pay the customer the outstanding balance of the premium paid and make it easier for the customer to withdraw from a contract.
“It would also require a company to inform customers of any claim made against their policy, allowing them to submit their own evidence and informing them of the cost of any claim against their policy that has been settled.
“The legislation would also make it harder for an insurer to wriggle out of paying valid claims on grounds that have nothing to do with the accident or loss incurred by the policyholder.
“In short, this would bring huge benefits to policyholders, and I am urging all parties to stop talking about insurance and start helping policyholders by voting for this Bill.
“Sinn Féin want to take on the insurance industry and ending the rip-off. By stamping out fraud, protecting consumers, banning dual pricing and bringing down premiums. Today’s legislation is a part of that work.”