Categories: Press Releases

by Brian Hanley

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PRESS RELEASE

1st March 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

“As the Government signals the completion of its programme to reform insurance in Ireland, new research shows that the vast majority of Irish businesses and voluntary organisations have not seen any reduction in insurance premiums despite massive reforms.”

The Alliance for Insurance Reform acknowledges the fourth implementation report of the Action Plan for Insurance Reform. A whole of Government, indeed virtually a whole of society approach – with the notable exceptions of the insurers and members of the legal profession – has been taken to addressing access to affordable insurance cover in recent years. Most notably reforms included the changes to the duty of care in July 2023, the introduction of the Judicial Guidelines in 2021 and the creation of a Garda Insurance Fraud Office. Many reforms have also been made to the Injury Resolution Board (formerly PIAB) to assist it in addressing a greater volume of uncontested personal injury claims.

The report states that reform of the insurance sector “has now largely been delivered.” Alliance Board member and owner of Kidspace play centres in Rathfarnham and Rathcoole, Tracy Sheridan said “The reforms they introduced have been very welcome. However, as a recent survey conducted by the Alliance shows, the benefits of these reforms are just not being shared with small and medium businesses, voluntary and community groups, sports and cultural organisations and charities right across the country. If the goal of the insurance reform agenda is reduced premiums and greater access to affordable cover, then it has yet to meaningfully deliver.”

The Alliance survey carried out in February 2024 received responses from 690 organisations across a range of sectors. Its main findings were:

  • 87% have had either no reduction or experienced a premium increase in the last 2 years. This is despite claims volumes having dropped 41% since 2019, the Judicial Guidelines being in place for three years (reducing the level of awards) and the duty of care being reformed since last summer.
  • 25% of respondents have one or no underwriters willing to provide cover.
  • When asked how important insurance was as an issue to their organisations, 87% gave it the highest grade available “very important”.
  • When asked whether they had materially benefited from the Government’s insurance reform agenda, 91% said no.
  • 72% of the organisations that responded to the survey have had no claims in the past 5 years.
  • 63% experienced increased excesses, added exclusions or both in the past five years.

“It is infuriating after all the work that went into reforming insurance, the benefits of these reforms are not being passed on. The job of Government is not finished, and it is imperative they stay the course until businesses, sports clubs, community groups and others realise some of the gains. The benefits of the reforms weren’t intended solely for insurers after all.”

Minister Carroll MacNeill also recently said that the issue of legal fees in the context of personal injury cases “continues to be a challenge.” We know that legal fees account for one third of the cost of personal injury cases – a cost that goes directly onto the premiums people and businesses pay – so it is vital that this is urgently addressed. The status quo is unaffordable and unsustainable.

—ENDS—

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: contact@insurancereform.ie or Alliance CEO, Brian Hanley at 086 8620 974.

Notes

  1. The Alliance for Insurance Reform brings together 46 civic and business organisations from across Ireland, representing over 55,000 members, 700,000 employees, 614,000 volunteers and 374,000 students in highlighting the negative impact of persistently high premiums and calling for real reforms that will quickly reduce liability and motor insurance premiums to affordable levels and keep them that way.
  1. Action Plan for Insurance Reform – Implementation Report February 2024 – DETE (enterprise.gov.ie)