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Finance Committee to investigate 'rip-off' dual pricing by insurance industry

Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty said companies are punishing loyal customers when they renew their policies.

THE OIREACHTAS Finance Committee is to launch an investigation into the practice by some insurance firms of charging current customers higher rates on renewal than the rates offered to new clients. 

Sinn Féin TD had requested the committee look at the issue and today he told the Dáil that customers and businesses throughout the State are being charged “rip-off prices by the insurance industry”.

“This is squeezing incomes and has led to the closure of businesses throughout the State,” he said.

“The scale of the insurance industry’s scam is met only by the scale of this Government’s inaction and failure to tackle escalating costs and industry malpractice.

There is no better example of this than the industry’s practice of price discrimination that punishes loyal customers when they renew their premium.

Doherty said his own insurance company charged him a renewal price of €856 and he was quoted a premium of €571 on the website after entering the same details.

He said the practice is widespread across the industry and is “wholly unjustifiable”.

“It is a systematic scam, costing costumers hundreds of euros every year without them even knowing it is happening.

“These companies exploit customers who do not know about dual pricing, relying on their loyalty to charge extortionate prices and push up their own profit margins.”

Doherty has also written to the Central Bank and the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission asking for an investigation into this issue.

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