Written answers

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Department of Finance

Motor Insurance Regulation

Photo of Michael McGrathMichael McGrath (Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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167. To ask the Minister for Finance his views that it is acceptable for insurance companies to charge an age loading for vehicles above a certain age limit even in circumstances where the vehicle owner has an up to date NCT certificate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47239/14]

Photo of Michael NoonanMichael Noonan (Limerick City, Fine Gael)
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In my role as Minister for Finance I have responsibility for the development of the legal framework governing financial regulation. The provision of insurance cover and the price at which it is offered is a commercial matter for insurance companies and is based on an assessment of the risks they are accepting and adequate provisioning to meet these risks. Neither I nor the Central Bank of Ireland, as regulator, interfere in the pricing of insurance products.

The EU framework for insurance expressly prohibits Member States adopting rules which require the prior approval or systematic notification of certain matters, including general and special policy conditions and scales of premiums. Furthermore, in the context of non-life insurance, which includes public indemnity insurance, the EU framework provides non-life insurers with the freedom to set premiums.  This has been acknowledged by the European Court of Justice. 

The Central Bank does not regulate premiums in the insurance market. Insurance companies consider a number of risks when determining the premium for a proposed insurance policy, whether that is a general insurance policy such as motor or home insurance, or a life assurance policy. A premium is based on the actuarial calculation of risk.

Consumers are encouraged to shop around at the time of insurance renewal. The National Consumer Agency has information which may assist a consumer to shop around.  It can be found at .


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