Action needed now to reduce insurance costs – Matt Carthy TD
Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, has said that government action is required to force the insurance industry to immediately slash premiums for consumers in line with the reduction in personal injury awards since personal injuries guidelines came into effect.
He echoed the demand from his party’s finance spokesperson, Pearse Doherty, that government to remove the delay it has placed on Sinn Féin’s Judicial Council Bill, which would hold the insurance industry to account and ensure that they reduce premiums in line with the reduced cost of claims.
Teachta Carthy said:
“The confirmation from the Personal Injuries Assessment Board that personal injury awards have fallen by 40 per cent since personal injury guidelines came into effect is welcome.
“We now see a significant reduction in the cost of claims for insurance companies.
“But, this must now be met with an immediate reduction in insurance premiums reflecting the reduction in awards.
“While there have been some reductions in respect of motor insurance, it is not being matched with the fall in awards.
“Public liability insurance premiums are not falling despite the significant reduction in awards. That is not acceptable.
“These guidelines were not adopted to prop up the profit margins of insurance companies but to reduce insurance costs for hard pressed customers.
“In April, Pearse Doherty introduced the Judicial Council Bill, which would require the industry to report how it has, or has not, passed these savings onto consumers to the Central Bank for the next four years.
“The government decided to let the industry off the hook by delaying the enacting of this Bill for narrow party political reasons. This simply served the interests of the industry and undermined the interests of consumers.
“The government must reverse course, remove the delay on Pearse Doherty’s Bill, and provide the Dáil with a tool to hold the insurance industry to account.
“While the data from PIAB confirms that the guidelines are working, they will only serve their purpose if personal injury award reductions are passed on to customers.
“That is what we must now see. It is time for government to stand up to the insurance industry by adopting Sinn Féin’s proposals.”