Insurance industry must be pressed to lower costs for loyal customers immediately

12 April 2021

Labour spokesperson on Finance Ged Nash has welcomed news that motor insurance costs are likely to come down after a landmark move to approve guidelines that will lead to a cut in personal injury awards. 

“Finally we are set to see a change to the payouts associated with personal injury claims which will benefit us all through lowered insurance premiums and costs. This is great news for customers throughout the country, as this, coupled with the decreased traffic on the roads means that customers should expect greatly reduced rates. 

“However, I’m concerned that the Minister is doing the PR for the industry on national airwaves this morning praising the industry for making changes by June. I am calling on the Minister to put the foot down and ensure that customers will see reduced rates immediately.

“How can it take another two months for these changes to come into effect in an industry that we know has calculations on every possible outcome at its fingertips? 

“The Minister needs to take control and press the industry to lower insurance costs for loyal customers now, not in a few months. The price reduction must also take account of our new reality. 

“Traffic volumes have fallen by 37% since the start of the pandemic, meaning there are fewer cars on the road and the level at risk at play has dramatically reduced for the insurers.

“The industry continues to run rings around this Government. It’s estimated that close to €300m less in claims will be made by Irish insurers because of the restrictions associated with the pandemic. They have resisted my calls for small rebates to loyal customers and government has been virtually silent on this.

“This is all in a context where we know dual pricing is hammering loyal customers, disproportionately those who are older and often let their policy renew automatically. This is an exploitative practice which perversely involves longstanding customers being slapped with a loyalty premium. We need to stop this rip-off of customers by insurers and Labour has published legislation to end this scandal. 

“The insurance industry can’t drag its heels any longer. The time to put consumers first is now. I’m calling on the Minister to break this inertia within the insurance industry and get value for hard pressed customers now.”

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