Government Approval of the General Scheme of the Central Bank (National Claims Information Database) Bill
The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D., has announced that the Government approved the drafting of the Central Bank (National Claims Information Database) Bill at its meeting on 19th December 2017.
The General Scheme of the Bill arises from recommendation 11 of the report of the Cost of Insurance Working Group, which is chaired by Minister of State Michael D’Arcy and which recommended the establishment of a National Claims Information Database to facilitate a more in-depth annual claims’ trends analysis of motor insurance claims. This was seen as key to developing an understanding of how claims costs are impacting premiums, in particular understanding the relationship between the price paid by a customer for motor insurance and the cost to insurance undertakings. A data subgroup, chaired by the Department of Finance, was set up to oversee the development of the Database and the underpinning legislation. Its membership includes representatives from the Central Bank, the State Claims Agency, Personal Injury Assessment Board (PIAB), the Central Statistics Office and the Society of Actuaries.
The General Scheme of the Bill represents a number of months of complex work which has involved numerous meetings of the data sub-group, as well as consultations with industry. At the same time, the Central Bank has commenced work on developing the technical specification of the database and is consulting with industry on this. The database is due to be established in 2018, however this will be subject to the Oireachtas agreeing the relevant legislation, once ready.
Welcoming the Government decision approving the drafting of the Central Bank (National Claims Information Database) Bill, Minister Donohoe said:
“I am pleased to announce the publication of the General Scheme of the Central Bank (National Claims Information Database) Bill. This represents an important milestone in the implementation of one of the key recommendations of the Cost of Insurance Working Group’s Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance. It is essential that there is an improvement in transparency around what has caused motor insurance premiums to be so volatile both up and down over relatively short periods of time. I look forward to having the National Claims Information Database put in place.”
The Minister of State for Insurance and Financial Services, Michael D’Arcy TD, said:
“I welcome today’s decision by the Government to publish the General Scheme of this Bill, which seeks to provide the necessary legislative basis for the establishment of the National Claims Information Database. The General Scheme provides a very good basis for the development of this database, which once in place, should provide all interested stakeholders with a clearer view on the factors that shape the cost of motor insurance premiums. I am confident that the insurance industry will continue to constructively engage with the Department of Finance and the Central Bank during the development phase of the database, in particular with regard to its technical specification, and I look forward to seeing the Database in place. In the mean-time, the Department of Finance will continue to publish its Key Information Reports, with the next one to be published in the first quarter of 2018.”
A public consultation on the draft Bill will follow in January.
Summary of the proposed Central Bank (National Claims Insurance Database) Bill:
The General Scheme of the Bill provides for the following:
- The scope of the Database is drafted in such a way as to allow particular non-life classes to be covered as circumstances require. It is proposed to focus in the first instance on private motor insurance;
- The Central Bank Act 1942 is to be amended to make the establishment and maintenance of the National Claims Information Database a function of the Central Bank of Ireland. This Head also sets out the types of information which may be collected and the areas which the annual report is to address;
- The Central Bank of Ireland’s information gathering powers shall be extended to allow it to collect the information required to carry out its analysis and produce its Report. The Central Bank will also have enforcement powers to penalise insurance undertakings who do not provide the mandated information;
- The costs of the Central Bank in relation to the Bill will be met by levies imposed by the Bank under Section 32D of the Central Bank Act 1942 and/or the Exchequer, in particular where a shortfall may arise; and
- The Central Bank of Ireland may, on foot of a request, share information received at an aggregate industry level only.
22nd December 2017
Aidan Murphy, Press Officer, Department of Finance – 085 886 6667