Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD will bring his Bill to force insurance companies to pass savings to their customers to the Dáil tomorrow, 1st June.
The legislation would require the insurance industry to provide information to the Central Bank outlining how the cost of claims have reduced as a result of the new Personal Injuries Guidelines, and how they have passed those savings to their customers, euro for euro, for each of the next four years.
The Judicial Council (Amendment) Bill 2021 would hold the insurance industry to account and pressure them to reduce premiums for customers.
Teachta Doherty said:
“We must end the insurance rip-off and reduce premiums for consumers.
“The Personal Injuries Guidelines have been in place for over a month now.
“These guidelines significantly reduced the cost of claims for insurance companies.
“But we must ensure that all of these savings are passed on to customers in the form of lower premiums.
“A survey by Sinn Féin has found that 58 percent of respondents who received their renewal since the new guidelines came into effect actually saw their premiums increase.
“Only 22 percent saw their premiums fall.
“The insurance industry promised to reduce premiums for motorists and businesses significantly as a result of these guidelines.
“They are not keeping their promise and consumers cannot afford to wait any longer.
“The government’s policy is to cross their fingers and hope the insurance industry will do the right thing and reduce premiums.
“That is not good enough and the insurance industry needs to be held to account.
“We cannot let them off the hook.
“My Bill, which will be debated in the Dáil tomorrow, would require the insurance industry to provide information to the Central Bank for each of the next four years outlining how the cost of claims have fallen as a result of the new Personal Injuries Guidelines, and if – and how – they have passed these savings to their consumers in the form of reduced prices.
“The legislation requires the Central Bank to report this information to the Minister for Finance with a report brought before the Houses of the Oireachtas annually.
“That way, we can hold the insurance industry to account and there will be nowhere for them to hide.
“Similar regulations came into effect in Britain following a reduction in the level of whiplash injury awards, where many insurers in this market, including AIG, AXA, Allianz, Aviva and RSA, also operate.
“They should be subject to no less scrutiny in Ireland.
“I am calling on all parties to support this important legislation that is in consumers’ interests.”