Written answers

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Department of Finance

Insurance Industry

5:00 am

Photo of Joe CostelloJoe Costello (Dublin Central, Labour)
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Question 82: To ask the Minister for Finance the way he plans to implement the commitment in the revised programme for Government to review insurance costs to ensure that the consumer is benefiting to the maximum extent possible from competition in the sector; the timeframe for implementation of this commitment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44591/09]

Photo of Brian Lenihan JnrBrian Lenihan Jnr (Minister, Department of Finance; Dublin West, Fianna Fail)
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My Department is currently considering how this review should be conducted, who the appropriate participants should be as well as the consultative requirements. Account will have to be taken in this review of the difficult market conditions that insurers are currently operating in. For instance a report published earlier this year by Standard & Poor's titled 'A Testing 2009 for the Irish Non-Life Insurance Market, Despite Fundamental Strengths' provides an insight into the problems facing the industry at the moment. The report envisages a difficult year for the non-life industry as a result of rising claims and continuing intense competition which they say is limiting price increases.

Any such review as well as looking at price increases and the reasons for such increases will also look at the extent of competition in the market and how this can be increased to maximise the benefits to the consumer.

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