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Report on the rising cost of insurance due by the end of January

It is expected to reach the Finance Minister soon.

Image: Shutterstock/fotogestoeber

A REPORT ON the cost of insurance in Ireland will be published by the end of January.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe told the Dáil last month that he was expecting to have the report of the Cost of Insurance Working Group on his desk soon, with the publication coming in January after government approval.

Donohoe said that the working group had been working on a consultation on employer liability (EL) and public liability (PL). This work is being done in parallel with the implementation of the motor report published in January.

The issues raised by groups representing commercial businesses included:

  • The significant increase in the cost of El and PL insurance
  • The lack of competition in the EL and PL market
  • Frustration with inconsistency of awards
  • Huge costs in challenging claims through the court process
  • The prevalence of fraudulent and exaggerated claims
  • The need for the role of Personal Injuries Assessment Board to be developed further

Donohoe told Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath that the sections of the report were due to be added to the motor insurance report, but were so complex that they warranted their own report.

“Because of the complexity and the legal nature of some of the issues, it became clear that extra time would be required to properly examine the relevant issues in order to come up with effective and achievable recommendations.

“Therefore, the Working Group decided that a full ‘stand-alone’ report will instead be finalised by the end of the year. This report will follow a similar format to the Motor Report and include an action plan with associated actions and deadlines for implementation. ”

The Irish SME Association said last month that the cost of insurance is one thing hampering business in Ireland.

“There is an expectation out there that it is up to employers to meet employee demands with rising costs. This cannot be done when markets will not bear higher costs for goods and services. Government must reduce state-influenced costs and put real money pack into people’s pockets. We do welcome the reduction in motor insurance in today’s figures, which come from an exorbitantly high base.”

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Business, Enterprise and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan said that “escalating insurance costs are hampering growth”.

Speaking to Pat Kenny on TV3 last month, Supermac’s founder Pat McDonagh, a member of the Alliance for Insurance Reform, said that so-called “compo culture” was to blame for much of the rising cost of insurance.

He highlighted two cases where CCTV had caught attempted frauds and said that the number of climbs had been rising.

“It was necessary to put cameras in toilets because we had a number of claims we believed were fraudulent.

“A lot of insurance companies pay out on nuisance value, which is ridiculous because it propagates the whole thing and encourages others. That’s one way the insurance companies can tackle this.

“The insurance companies are taking on these fraudsters. But I get calls every second day complaining about insurance companies settling cases.”

Read: Nearly 2,000 people refused a car insurance quote last year – just 53 were denied one in 2008

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