Written answers

Thursday, 4 July 2024

Department of Finance

Insurance Coverage

Photo of Thomas GouldThomas Gould (Cork North Central, Sinn Fein)
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200. To ask the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a three-month gap in named driver experience renders this non-assessable for an insurance application with some providers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28655/24]

Photo of Jack ChambersJack Chambers (Dublin West, Fianna Fail)
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This Government remains strongly committed to achieving a competitive and sustainable insurance market. The Action Plan for Insurance Reform, a critical government initiative, is progressing well. Overseen by a Cabinet Committee Sub-Group on Insurance Reform, chaired by the Tánaiste, the plan has seen significant progress, with most actions either delivered or initiated. This coordinated whole-of-Government approach aims to improve the domestic operating environment for insurers, despite the EU level Solvency II framework, which prevents Government from compelling insurers to provide coverage or dictating pricing

As noted by Insurance Ireland as a general principle, no claims discounts apply to the policyholder. However, some insurers may offer discretionary introductory discounts for named drivers based on their experience. The discount generally depends on consecutive driving experience without gaps. However, insurers make their own commercial decisions on this, and the Government is not involved as per the EU Solvency II framework. The terms and conditions for such discounts vary according to the consumer, policy, risk, and provider.

It is worth noting that motor insurance rates have decreased by around 40 percent since their peak in July 2016 and new capacity is entering the market, benefiting consumers. Despite a 7.4 percent increase in premiums up to May, this is lower compared to an average EU increase of 12.1 percent and a 17.6 percent rise in the UK. Ireland's reforms have mitigated the steep rise in insurance costs seen elsewhere. The National Claims Insurance Database (NCID) report published earlier this week highlighted an increase in motor damage claims costs. These are largely influenced by a range of external factors including global inflation, and supply chain issues, along with labour market tightness.

Significant achievements of the Action Plan include rebalancing the Duty of Care, reforming the Injuries Resolution Board, and introducing new Personal Injury Guidelines. New competitors like Outsurance and Revolut have entered the motor insurance market, enhancing competition. Existing providers are expanding their risk appetite, and reports indicate reductions in rates being charged.

In conclusion, the Government remains steadfast in its commitment to achieving a competitive and sustainable insurance market, ensuring the availability and affordability of insurance for all sectors.


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