Written answers

Thursday, 4 July 2024

Department of Finance

Insurance Industry

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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250. To ask the Minister for Finance the extent to which his Department continues to monitor developments in the insurance industry, in particular the need to provide insurance cover for all types of insurance at viable rates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29079/24]

Photo of Jack ChambersJack Chambers (Dublin West, Fianna Fail)
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The Government remains committed to addressing the issue of high public liability insurance costs through the efforts of the Office for the Promotion of Competition in the Insurance Market, a key element of the Action Plan for Insurance Reform. Established as a Programme for Government commitment and overseen by the Minister of State at the Department of Finance, the Office aims to expand the risk appetite of existing insurers and attract new market entrants. By maintaining regular contact with sectors facing insurance difficulties, the Office plays a pivotal role in helping to encourage the availability of insurance cover including for various high-risk activities, including equestrian activities, inflatable hire, and ice-skating.

By leveraging the Government's insurance reform agenda, the Office has successfully helped facilitate the availability of insurance in previously challenging areas, contributing to a more competitive market. This collaborative approach involves connecting groups facing insurance challenges with relevant stakeholders and separately engaging with IDA Ireland to help attract new insurers to the Irish market. Most recently we have seen OUTsurance commence operations here. In terms of business and commercial insurance, existing providers have indicated that they are expanding their risk appetite to underserved areas and various sectors are reporting reductions in the rate being charged for liability cover.

The broader 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.

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. The ongoing implementation of the Action Plan for Insurance Reform, along with the work of the Office for the Promotion of Competition in the Insurance Market, continues to deliver on the Government's reform agenda, making Ireland a more attractive destination for insurers and ultimately benefiting consumers.


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