Thursday, 3 June 2021
Department of Finance
249. To ask the Minister for Finance the extent to which insurance companies have requested increased premiums from a club (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30434/21]
I note that the details supplied by the Deputy refers to insurance for a specific organisation. While I recognise the concerns felt by many voluntary and community groups, including the one highlighted by the Deputy, around the cost and availability of insurance cover, he will appreciate that, as Minister for Finance, I am not in a position to comment on individual cases.
Neither I, nor the Central Bank of Ireland, can interfere in the provision or pricing of insurance products, or have the power to direct insurance companies to provide cover to specific individuals or businesses. This position is reinforced by the EU Solvency II Directive insurance framework.
Nevertheless, I can assure the Deputy that this Government is fully committed to improving the cost and availability of insurance for all consumers, businesses and community groups. In this regard, the Action Plan for Insurance Reform sets out 66 actions across a number of policy areas. Work is already underway to deliver these enabling reforms. Recent achievements include the adoption of new Personal Injuries Guidelines by the Judicial Council, and the creation of an Office to Promote Competition in the Insurance Market within the Department of Finance. Minister of State Fleming and I will continue to work with colleagues and stakeholders to drive implementation of the Action Plan and deliver further key reforms in this area.
With respect to the issue highlighted by the Deputy, it may interest the organisation involved to know that Insurance Ireland, the representative body for insurance providers in this country, operates a free Insurance Information Service for those who have queries, complaints or difficulties in relation to obtaining insurance cover. This can be accessed at email@example.com. I would also note that where somebody feels they have been treated unfairly by a particular insurance provider, they have the option of making a complaint to the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman (FSPO). The FSPO acts as an independent arbiter of disputes which consumers may have with their insurance company or other financial service provider. The FSPO can be contacted either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 01-567-7000.