The Cost of Insurance Working Group

The Cost of Insurance Working Group, chaired by Minister of State Eoghan Murphy TD, is undertaking a review of the factors which are influencing the increased cost of insurance.

The Working Group brings together all the relevant Departments and Offices involved with the process.  Its objective is to identify immediate and longer term measures which can address increasing costs, while bearing in mind the need to maintain a stable insurance sector. The first phase involved an examination of the Motor Insurance sector. The second phase involves an examination of the Employer Liability Insurance and Public Liability Insurance sectors.

 

Phase 1 Motor Insurance

The Cost of Insurance Working Group’s Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance was published on January 10th 2017, having been approved by Government.

The Report covers six main themes as follows:

  • Protecting the consumer
  • Improving data availability
  • Improving the personal injuries claims environment
  • Reducing the costs in the claims process
  • Reducing insurance fraud and uninsured driving
  • Promoting road safety and reducing collisions

In addressing these six themes, the Report makes 33 recommendations with 71 associated actions to be carried out.  The recommendations and actions are detailed in an action plan contained in the report with agreed timelines for implementation.

The recommendations include actions to address:

  1. the lack of transparency in the claims area, through the establishment of a national claims information database which will be located in the Central Bank;
  2. a better understanding of how personal injuries claims are calculated, through the establishment of  a Personal Injuries Commission;
  3. the increasing level of uninsured driving, through the establishment of a fully functioning database which will allow the Gardaí to check insurance compliance by the use of technology such as Automatic Number Plate Recognition; and
  4. suspected fraud, through the establishment of a database that will be funded by industry but held by an independent body and that will take into account data protection concerns.

The Working Group was formed in July 2016, bringing together all the relevant Departments and Offices and met twelve times in plenary format prior to the publication of the Report.  It has continued to meet on a regular basis in 2017 in order to fully implement the recommendations within the agreed timelines (as well as commencing on the second phase of its work).

Sub-groups were established to look at particular issues in more detail, including to understand the motor insurance market, the need for improved data availability, the cost of claims and other public policy issues.

In addition, the Working Group embarked on an extensive consultation process and met with various stakeholders, including Insurance Ireland, various insurance companies, AA Ireland, Auto Records Limited, the Consumers Association of Ireland, the Freight Transport Association of Ireland, the Irish Brokers Association, the Irish Car Rental Council, the Irish Road Haulage Association, the Law Society of Ireland and Tiomanaí Tacsaí na hÉireann.  In addition, submissions received from all interested parties were considered as part of the process.

The Cost of Insurance Working Group, 15 February 2017

 

Phase 2 - Employer Liability Insurance and Public Liability Insurance

The Working Group in this second phase will address the Employer Liability (EL) Insurance and Public Liability (PL) Insurance sectors and the relevant terms of reference have been agreed.

It is proposed that the following core areas will be addressed:

  • Overview of the EL and PL insurance sectors
  • Impact of the cost of insurance on the competitiveness of particular business sectors
  • Impact of health and safety issues on the cost of insurance
  • Other market issues

In addition, the Working Group will build on previous work done as it relates to PL and EL claims in examining:

  • Personal Injury data and information
  • Effects of legal costs and litigation processes on insurance costs
  • Current claims compensation arrangements and cost of claims
  • Impact of unlawful activity on insurance sector

It is envisaged that the final results of the second phase will take the form of an addendum to the existing Report.

The Working Group will, in the main, consist of representatives from the same Departments and Offices as in the first phase and will continue to meet on a regular basis in 2017.  Sub-groups may be created in due course to look at specific issues in more detail as the need arises and may contain representation from other relevant bodies as appropriate.

If you wish to share your views, experiences, ideas and solutions with the Working Group, please email insurance@finance.gov.ie with your submission.

 

The Cost of Insurance Working Group, 15 February 2017