Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs

Insurance Cover for Crèches: Discussion

Photo of Katherine ZapponeKatherine Zappone (Dublin South West, Independent)
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As I have said on several occasions this afternoon, it is important that we attract at least one more insurance organisation, and preferably a couple of such organisations, into the market. As I indicated earlier, I have information to suggest that increases in the region of 100% represent one of the reasons for certain companies deciding to move or leave. I have not met them directly, but that is the information I have received from them. We know from other sources that increases can be higher than that. We have been told that such increases have arisen because the previous policies were not considered to be sustainable. The insurer was taking on a loss-making premium. That is the information we have already received with regard to the insurer that has left. I think it is correct.

I have indicated some of the ways in which we will contribute to the reform work that is being done in the Department of Finance to ensure insurance is available to facilitate the services we need to deliver. For example, we have information and data from a childcare perspective. We also know that the seriousness of the issue has not been evident in the childcare sector up to now. I think this is the case. We have the information and we are moving forward in this area. Ironshore was bought out. There is information to suggest that costs reduced by 40% when it entered the market, although this has yet to be verified. That may not have been sustainable. We have some information. I remind members of the committee that the programme support payment is made to recognise the administrative burden on providers with regard to registration under the national childcare scheme, etc. I take the points that have been made about what we need to do to move forward. We have some information. We have had some engagement. We need to have that engagement.