November 16, 2021
Profits soar as insurance companies pocket Covid-19 savings and government fail to hold them to account – Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has said that the publication of the Central Bank’s 2020 Motor Insurance Report shows clearly that the insurance industry pocketed savings made from Covid-19, instead of passing them on to customers.

The National Claims Information Database also shows that motor insurance premiums have gone up by 26 percent since 2009, despite the claims cost per policy falling by 29 percent over the same period.

Speaking this morning, Teachta Doherty said:

“Today’s publication by the Central Bank of the 2019 Private Motor Insurance Report shows clearly that the insurance industry decided to pocket the vast savings it made during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Despite traffic falling by 37 percent in 2020, the number of claims falling by 26 percent and the cost of claims per policy falling by 20 percent, premiums only fell by 7 percent. Meanwhile, the industry made profits of €163 million – a margin of 12 percent.

“The facts are clear – insurance companies are choosing higher profits over fair value for their customers, while a government that fails to hold them to account looks on.

“The insurance industry cannot be let off the hook any longer.

“Figures from the Personal Injuries Assessment Board show that the average award has fallen by 40 percent since the new Personal Injury Guidelines were introduced in April.

“These savings must be passed onto consumers, but as today’s report shows, we cannot trust the industry to do the right thing.

“I introduced legislation in April that would require insurers to show if and how much of these savings are being passed onto consumers in the form of lower premiums.

“The government have blocked it while also frustrating my attempts to ban the loyalty penalty. They are letting consumers down and the industry off the hook.

“The report also makes clear the need for the role of PIAB to be strengthened.

“Settling claims through PIAB delivers similar compensation but is much cheaper and faster.

“The report shows once again that the biggest winner from court settlements is the legal industry, not the consumer.

“Today’s report underlines the need for reform – to hold the industry to account in reducing premiums, to reform the duty of care, strengthen PIAB and ban the loyalty penalty.

“For far too long this government’s agenda has been to block change and delay reforms, undermining the interests of consumers.”

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