The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar T.D., the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe T.D. the Minister of State, with responsibility for Financial Services, Credit Unions and Insurance, Séan Fleming T.D., and the Minister of State with responsibility for Company Law, Robert Troy T.D., welcomed the outcome of the CCPC investigation into price signalling and the commitments entered into by the parties to that investigation. They also noted the CCPC’s ongoing concerns regarding the culture within the Irish insurance industry.
The Tánaiste said, “this is a good outcome from the CCPC today and I welcome the fact that they are following up further with the Central Bank. The main thing we need to see now is a fall in premiums for motorists.”
“The upcoming Competition (Amendment) Bill is a priority this year for Government, as part of our overall commitment to reform the insurance sector. The new law will significantly strengthen the CCPC’s powers, giving them the ability to administer significant fines for breaches of competition law. We will continue to implement our Insurance Reform Plan, which is already making an impact on costs.”
Minister of State Fleming commented, “the outcome of the CCPC’s investigation underlines the importance of insurance in general and the impact of its cost and availability on consumers, businesses and community groups. Accordingly, I plan to meet the CCPC to discuss their findings in further detail”.
The Government remain fully committed to progressing the insurance reform agenda, centred on the Action Plan for Insurance Reform. The Cabinet Committee Sub-Group on Insurance Reform’s first Action Plan Implementation Report, published in June, shows that work is progressing well, with 34 of the 66 actions contained in the Action Plan are now completed. Among the most significant achievements to date are the introduction of the new Personal Injury Guidelines, which significantly reduce awards for personal injury awards, and the creation of the Office to Promote Competition in the Insurance Market. Plans are also in place to strengthen the powers of the CCPC through the expected enactment of the Competition (Amendment) Bill.
Minister Donohoe stated, “securing a more sustainable and competitive market through deepening and widening the supply of insurance in Ireland remains a key policy priority for this Government. In this regard, the Government will continue to work to ensure that implementation of the Action Plan will have a positive impact on the affordability and availability of insurance for individuals, businesses, community and voluntary groups across Ireland”.
Minister of State Troy added, “this is a positive result for consumers. Competition is important for a healthy insurance market and later this Autumn we will publish the Competition (Amendment) Bill. This is one of my top priorities for company regulation, and represents a step change in competition enforcement for Ireland and will support ongoing work to ensure a competitive and fair marketplace. Government is making steady progress to reform the insurance market and we are beginning to see the results of this work to ultimately reduce the cost of insurance for businesses and consumers alike.”