While customers continue to come to terms with excessive insurance premiums, the government last week released its fifth update on the Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance.
Commenting on the publication Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance, Michael McGrath said, “The fact that the government slipped this update out without any press release or coverage just goes to show how little progress has been achieved.
“Motor insurance customers, businesses, charities, sports clubs and many more people continue to face insurance premiums that are far in excess of what is justified or fair.
“The government has rolled over on certain key measures and it is nowhere near good enough. While the industry needs to be heard, so too do the countless customers who feel ripped off as their insurance premiums go through the roof.
“It is not too much to ask for a consumer to be informed as to the specific reason or reasons why their premium has increased. This action point has more or less been abandoned by the government. Instead, insurance companies now only have to provide generic reasons for increases offering customers little or no clarity whatsoever.
“The recommendation for policyholders to be informed of claims made against them before a settlement has been reached has stalled and it looks like the government is rolling over again.
“The National Claims Information Database is the key recommendation of the working group’s report. The legislation to establish the database was to be enacted by the end of 2017. Now it seems it will not be even introduced until the second half of 2018 and that timeframe is far from certain.
“A mechanism to set up an anti-fraud unit within An Garda Síochána was to be approved by the third quarter of 2017, this has yet to be achieved and no solid timeline has been put in place for the approval of such a mechanism, much less the establishment of a unit.
“On top that we have the ongoing investigations by the European Commission and the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission on alleged anti-competitive behaviour.
“The government has shown no sign that it is on top of this issue, meanwhile individuals, households, businesses, charities and sports clubs all face unsustainably high insurance premiums. This is a direct threat to our competitiveness and the government needs to afford this issue the urgency it requires”, concluded Deputy McGrath.