Sinn Féin TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Pauline Tully, has called for cross-party support for a Sinn Féin bill that would force insurance companies to pass savings on to their customers, which will be debated in the Dáil today.
The legislation, drafted by Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD, would require the insurance industry to provide information to the Central Bank outlining how the cost of claims have reduced as a result of the new Personal Injuries Guidelines, and how they have passed those savings onto their customers, euro for euro, for each of the next four years.
Teachta Tully said:
“We must end the insurance rip-off and reduce premiums for consumers.
“The Personal Injuries Guidelines, which have been in place for over a month now, significantly reduced the cost of claims for insurance companies.
“But we must ensure these savings are passed on, euro for euro, to customers in the form of lower premiums.
“A survey launched by Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty found that 58 percent of respondents who received their renewal since the new guidelines came into effect actually saw their premium increase.
“Only 22 percent saw their premium fall. The insurance industry promised to reduce premiums for motorists and businesses significantly as a result of these guidelines.
“They are not keeping their promise and consumers cannot afford to wait any longer.
“The government’s policy is to cross their fingers and hope the insurance industry will do the right thing and reduce premiums.
“That is not good enough and the insurance industry needs to be held to account.
“Pearse Doherty’s Judicial Council (Amendment) Bill would require the insurance industry to provide information to the Central Bank for each of the next four years outlining how the cost of claims have fallen as a result of the new Personal Injuries Guidelines, and if and how they have passed these savings onto their consumers in the form of reduced prices.
“The legislation requires the Central Bank to report this information to the Minister for Finance with a report brought before each House of the Oireachtas annually.
“That way, we can hold the insurance industry to account and there will be nowhere for them to hide.
“The legislation will apply pressure on the industry to pass on, euro for euro, all of the savings they make to their customers.
“This legislation would ensure that insurance providers are held to account and pass on all savings that arise out of the Personal Injuries Guidelines to their customers.
“Similar regulations came into effect in Britain following a reduction in the level of whiplash injury awards, where many insurers in this market, including AIG, AXA, Allianz, Aviva and RSA, also operate.
“They should be subject to no less scrutiny here. That is why all parties should support Pearse Doherty’s legislation in the interests of consumers.”
You can find the Judicial Council (Amendment) Bill 2021 here: https://www.sinnfein.ie/files/2021/Judicial_Council_(Amendment)_Bill_2021_(1).pdf