Frank O’Rourke has said insurance providers need to pass on some of their massive profits to consumers and called on the Government to immediately implement the recommendations of the Cost of Insurance Working Group.
Deputy O’Rourke was commenting following reports that three insurance companies in Ireland made a combined profit of €200 million last year and said, “Insurance companies are raking it in by imposing huge premiums on consumers for their home, motor and business insurance. Individuals across Kildare cannot keep up with rising motor and home insurance costs and businesses such as nightclubs, marts and childcare facilities are considering closing down because of the massive increases in public liability and business insurance.”
“While I accept that the personal injury awards are far too high in Ireland and that they are a key contributor to the rising insurance costs, I do not accept insurance companies not passing on some of their profits to their customers – that just makes good business sense. Insurance premiums continue to rise far in excess of what is fair or justified. These rising costs are a huge burden on customers, business, charities, and sports clubs. It is very important that the recommendations of the working group, formed to tackle rising insurance costs, are implemented immediately. So far it appears little has been done in this regard.”
“The establishment of a national claims database is just one step we can take. The legislation for this database was enacted some time ago, yet it languishes in the Department. In addition to the database the establishment of a dedicated Garda insurance fraud unit is one action which is often brought up by businesses and communities as an essential measure.” The Department must do more to prevent rising insurance costs. There are options on the table but little has been done to date while premiums continue to rise. The Minister ought to take this matter more seriously and step up efforts before we see the closure of more businesses and homeowners taking risks with their homes”, concluded Deputy O’Rourke.