March 24, 2021
Transparency needed on how insurance industry passes savings onto customers as a result of new guidelines – Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD, has submitted an amendment to the ‘Family Leave and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill’, which would provide transparency on how the insurance industry passes savings onto customers, as a result of the new Personal Injuries Guidelines.

The amendment would require the industry to provide information to the Central Bank, outlining how the cost of claims have reduced as a result of new guidelines. 

For each of the next four years, the industry would also have to provide information on how they have passed those savings onto their customers. This Bill provides for the new guidelines coming into effect.

The Donegal TD said that his amendment would hold the industry to account and ensure transparency on how they have passed on savings to consumers, as a result of the new guidelines.

Teachta Doherty said:

“Today the Dáil will debate the ‘Family Leave and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill’.

“While this legislation provides for parental and adoptive leave, it also provides for the coming into effect of the new Personal Injuries Guidelines.

“These guidelines were adopted by the Judicial Council on the 6th March, and will significantly reduce the cost of claims for insurers.

“Sinn Féin support these guidelines solely on the grounds that they will reduce the cost of insurance for consumers.

“Since the new guidelines were published, the insurance industry has tried to row back on commitments to reduce insurance premiums, on spurious grounds using bogus arguments.

“The fact of the matter is that these new guidelines will reduce the level of personal injury awards significantly, and in some cases, by more than 60 percent.

“That will lead to significant savings for insurance companies that must be passed onto their customers.

“We cannot let them off the hook.

“That is why I, on behalf of Sinn Féin, have submitted an amendment that 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 these new guidelines, and if and how they have passed these savings onto their consumers in the form of reduced prices.

“The amendment requires the Central Bank to report this information to the Minister for Finance with a report brought before both Houses of the Oireachtas annually. That way – we can hold the insurance industry to account.

“Otherwise, the new Personal Injuries Guidelines are nothing more than a blank cheque to insurance companies and their shareholders.

“This amendment will be debated tomorrow and I will be calling on the Dáil to support it in the interests of consumers.”

ENDS

Note to the Editor:

The amendment would require the Minister for Finance to make regulations requiring insurance providers to provide information to the Central Bank for each of the four years from the personal injuries guidelines coming into operation, including:

  • The cost of claims in each of the four years;
  • The expected cost of claims in each of the four years had the personal injuries guidelines not come into operation;
  • The average premium in each of the four years;
  • The expected average premium in each of the four years had the personal injuries guidelines not come into operation;
  • How they have passed on any reduction in the cost of claims in each of the four years to their customers as a result of the personal injuries guidelines not come into operation.

The Central Bank will then be required to present the Minister with a report concerning each of the four years on an annual basis, with that report being laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas.

You can find the amendment attached here.

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