Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has said that the insurance industry must reduce premiums in line with the reduction in personal injury awards since personal injuries guidelines came into effect.
He has called on the government to remove the delay it has placed on Sinn Féin’s Judicial Council Bill, which would hold the insurance industry to account to ensure they reduce premiums in line with the reduced cost of claims.
Teachta Doherty said:
“Last week, the Personal Injuries Assessment Board confirmed that personal injury awards have fallen by 40 per cent since personal injury guidelines came into effect.
“This has resulted in a massive reduction in the cost of providing insurance.
“Despite this, a survey published by the Alliance for Insurance Reform today shows that the average public liability insurance renewal is up by 15%. That is not acceptable.
“Public injury guidelines were not adopted to prop up the profit margins of insurance companies but to reduce insurance costs for hard pressed businesses and consumers. The industry needs to be held to account.
“I introduced the Judicial Council Bill in April of this year, which would require the insurance industry to report how it has, or has not, passed these savings onto consumers to the Central Bank for the next four years. Yet, the government decided to let the industry off the hook by delaying my Bill for narrow party political reasons.
“Their actions have undermined the interests of policyholders. They need to remove the delay on my Bill, and work with me to progress this legislation and to ensure we have another tool to hold the insurance industry to account.
“It is also clear that further reform is needed in the insurance sector, with a particular focus on legislative changes to the duty of care to ensure an appropriate balance in the responsibilities between parties.
“These reforms will serve to attract new entrants to the market, to the benefit of consumers. That is what we must now see.”