Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has called on the government not to delay his Bill to end the insurance rip-off, which will be voted on in the Dáil today.
The Insurance Bill would reduce insurance prices by banning the practice of ‘dual pricing’, used by companies to identify loyal customers and charge them artificially high premiums.
The practice affects millions of policyholders, costing many customers hundreds of euro per year on their car and home insurance.
Teachta Doherty said:
“Today the Dáil will vote on my Insurance Bill to ban the practice of dual pricing and increase transparency in how the insurance industry sets prices.
“The legislation would put money back in the pockets of motorists and homeowners by reducing their premiums.
“It would stop insurance companies penalising and ripping-off loyal customers.
“In the past decade, insurance costs have risen by 35 percent despite the cost of claims falling by 9 percent.
“Insurance companies price gouge Irish customers every year using a practice that is banned in 20 US states and is soon to be banned in Britain.
“They use dual pricing to target loyal and vulnerable customers and then charge them artificially high premiums when they renew.
“This is the loyalty penalty, overcharging customers by hundreds of euros every year.
“Banning dual pricing would reduce the cost of home and car insurance for customers, requiring the Central Bank to draw up and enforce regulations that will govern the ban, with any insurance companies that ignore the ban facing heavy financial penalties.
“In Britain, the financial regulator estimates that a ban would cut insurance costs for customers by 10%, saving customers between €4 and €13 billion over the next decade.
“I am calling on all TDs to support my legislation today.
“Unfortunately, the government has tabled a motion that would delay this legislation for nine months.
“In reality this would delay this reform for over a year. Irish consumers cannot afford delay.
“I am calling on the government to drop this cynical amendment and support my legislation.
“It is time to end the insurance rip-off and reduce prices for customers.”