Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance, Pearse Doherty TD, has called on the insurance industry to slash insurance premiums following the sharp fall in personal injury claims through the High Court and Personal Injuries Assessment Board.
The Donegal TD called on the Government to support his Judicial Council (Amendment) Bill which would hold insurance companies to account and pressure them to reduce prices in line with the reduced cost of claims.
Speaking today, Teachta Doherty said:
“Figures released today show a sharp fall in the number of personal injury claims initiated in the High Court following the introduction of the Personal Injuries Guidelines.
“Personal injury claims through the High Court have fallen by two thirds since 2019 – from an average of 666 per month to 223 per month.
“The number of applications to PIAB for personal injury claims has also fallen sharply with the value of awards falling by 40 percent.
“We now know that since the new guidelines were adopted the number and value of personal injury claims has significantly reduced.
“This is and will result in massive savings for the insurance industry.
“These reforms were not passed by the Oireachtas to bolster the profits of insurance companies – they were passed to reduce the cost of insurance for consumers and businesses.
“It is clear that the industry is choosing to pocket these savings rather than pass them on to their customers.
“In 2021 alone, the motor insurance industry amassed profits of €176 million – its highest profit margin in more than a decade.
“The insurance industry must pass on the benefits of these reforms, euro for euro, to customers.
“My Judicial Council (Amendment) Bill, which will proceed to Committee Stage in the coming months, would require the insurance industry to report to the Central Bank detailing how it has or hasn’t passed on these savings to customers.
“This would allow the Dáil to hold the industry to account and apply downward pressure on prices.
“The Government should now support this legislation.
“It is clear that the industry is taking the Government for a ride and undermining its insurance reform plan.”