Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance, Michael McGrath has expressed frustration at the lack of progress in putting together an index that would track business insurance prices over time.
Deputy McGrath commented, “There is absolutely no transparency in this part of the insurance market and many businesses, charities and sports clubs are feeling the effect. When it comes to motor insurance, we are able to track prices over time using the Consumer Price Index published monthly by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). No such index exists for business insurance meaning that we are all in the dark when it comes to trends in prices over time.
“The real tangible result of all this is that various organisations from businesses to charities to sports clubs will continue to face increasing insurance premiums and nobody will be able to confirm it through the use of an independent and objective index.
“I know of many businesses that are facing a very uncertain future because of increasing insurance costs and I fear that the lack of transparency will mean that it will go unnoticed. The government’s Cost of Insurance Working Group recommended that the CSO look into the establishment of such an index back in January of this year. According to responses to my parliamentary questions, it now seems that the whole initiative has stalled and that the Government has lost interest in fulfilling this key recommendation.
“I acknowledge that compiling such an index, by the CSO will prove complex given the different types of business and the variety of risks they face but I do believe that the cost of doing nothing is substantially greater. The whole area of insurance reform seems to have completely fallen down the Government’s priority list.
“Insurance reform will continue to be a key priority for Fianna Fáil and we will not allow the issue to be ignored by this Government,” concluded McGrath.