The Cost of Insurance Working Group

The Cost of Insurance Working Group

The Cost of Insurance Working Group, chaired by Minister of State Michael D’Arcy TD, has undertaken 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 involved 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 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.

 

Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance

Cost of Insurance Working Group Quarterly Progress Reports 

Cost of Insurance Working Group Quarterly Motor Insurance Key Information Reports 

Central Bank (National Claims Information Database) Bill 2018

Phase 2 – Employer Liability Insurance and Public Liability Insurance

The Working Group in this second phase considered the issue of employer and public liability in the context of the cost of business insurance. The Report on the Cost of Employer and Public Liability Insurance, prepared by the Cost of Insurance Working Group under the Chairmanship of Minister of State D’Arcy, was published on 25 January 2018, having been approved by Government.

The Report makes 15 recommendations with 29 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, covering three main themes, include actions to:

  • Increase Transparency: enhance levels of transparency and improve data sharing and collection processes
  • Review the level of damages in personal injury cases: request that the Law Reform Commission undertake a detailed analysis of the possibility of developing constitutionally sound legislation to delimit or cap the amounts of damages which a court may award in respect of some or all categories of personal injuries and
  • Improve the personal injuries litigation framework: through a number of measures, namely:
    • ensuring potential defendants are notified in sufficient time that an incident has occurred in relation to which a claim is going to be made against their policy;
    • tackling fraudulent or exaggerated claims; and
    • ensuring suitable training and information supports are available to the judiciary to assist in the fair and consistent assessment and awarding of damages in personal injury cases.

The Working Group in its second phase met fifteen times during 2017 and undertook an extensive consultation process involving a range of stakeholders.  These included the Hotels Federation of Ireland, IBEC, ISME, the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI), the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA), the Retail Grocery Dairy & Allied Trades Association (RGDATA), Chambers Ireland, the Law Society of Ireland, and the Health and Safety Authority.  It also met Insurance Ireland, a number of CEOs from insurers operating in the employer liability and public liability insurance market and representatives from Lloyd’s of London. In addition, submissions received from all interested parties were considered as part of the process.

The Working Group operated by way of two sub-groups, broadly looking at market related issues and legal issues.  Chairs were appointed to these sub-groups and work commenced at sub-group level in July 2017.  The sub-groups met on a weekly basis thereafter.  The output of the sub-groups fed into the meetings of the Working Group, with the Working Group acting as a Steering Group to the sub-groups.

 

Report on the Cost of Employer and Public Liability Insurance

 

Consultations

Consultation of the Feasability of an Insurance Claim by Claim Register – closes 22 June 2018

Public Consultation on the Central Bank (National Claims Information Database) Bill

Responses to Central Bank (National Claims Information Database) Bill 2017 Consultation