New reform plan aims to bring down insurance costs

The government has published a new reform plan which it hopes will bring down the cost of insurance.

Speaking at the launch of the reform plan, Tánaiste and Enterprise Minister Leo Varadkar said insurance costs in Ireland are too high across all sectors, including motoring.

Mr Varadkar said: “As we reopen our economy once more, businesses and families will face financial pressures, including that of insurance, and it is our intention to alleviate that over the coming period.”

The director of the Alliance for Insurance Reform, Peter Boland welcomed the plans but urged the government to now follow through with its promise.

Mr Boland said: “In the last four years we have had the Oireachtas Finance Committee Report on Insurance Costs, two Cost of Insurance Working Group (CIWG) reports and 11 CIWG Updates; and the reports of the Personal Injuries Commission.

“Many of the meaningful actions in these reports experienced slippage or did not happen at all and the reality is that no reform that has happened so far has applied downward pressure on insurance costs.

“The actions in this report must not be allowed to be dragged out in the same way.”

The main pledges in the plan include:

  • Replacing the Book of Quantum with new guidelines on the appropriate level of personal injury awards
  • Enhancing the role of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board
  • Examining the duty of care to strengthen waivers and notices to increase protections for consumers, businesses, sporting clubs and community groups.
  • Further strengthening transparency through the expansion of the National Claims Information Database
  • Monitoring whether personal injury award levels need to be capped
  • Reducing insurance fraud including placing perjury on a statutory footing, thus making the offence easier to prosecute
  • The enforcement powers of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) will also be strengthened, dual pricing will be examined and an office will be set up within Government to encourage greater insurance market competition.

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