23rd December 2020
The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD, and Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation Robert Troy TD, have today (Wednesday the 23rd of December), welcomed the publication of a study on public liability insurance carried out by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) at the request of Government.
Last year, the Government requested the CCPC to conduct a study into the operation of the public liability insurance market in Ireland. The findings of the study, published today, have made recommendations, the vast majority of which have already been incorporated into the Government’s recently published Action Plan on Insurance Reform.
The study will now go to the Cabinet Committee Sub-Group on Insurance Reform, chaired by An Tánaiste, for full consideration.
The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar TD said:
Public liability insurance is too expensive; the cost continues to rise and there are too few providers. We need that to change. This report highlights the poor functioning of the public liability insurance market. I’m pleased to see that the vast majority of the recommendations in the report have already been incorporated into our recently published Action Plan for Insurance Reform. These include greater information and transparency to encourage new entrants, more predictable awards, greater competition as well as more frequent use of a reformed PIAB to reduce legal costs and delays.
Insurance reform is a major priority of mine as Minister and Tánaiste. I agree with the CCPC that, although the market is working for some, there are significant concerns and improvements must be made. I am determined to make insurance more available and less expensive for companies, community organisations and individuals.”
The study examined how the public liability insurance market operates in Ireland, how competition works in that market and whether any practice or method of competition affects the pricing levels of public liability insurance.
The CCPC recommends the adoption of a strategic approach to reform of the insurance market, improved data availability, measures to enhance competition, supports for business and consumers and reform of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB).
Minister Robert Troy TD said:
The cost and availability of insurance is a major issue for consumers, business and community groups across the country. Addressing the high cost of insurance is a key priority for me and part of that is supporting the development of an insurance system which is both affordable and reliable. As Minister with responsibility for the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, I welcome the CCPC’s recommendation on the need for PIAB reform, an identified measure in the Action Plan for Insurance reform. I have already commenced work on measures to enhance and expand its role, with the CCPC’s study an important input to this process. I am conscious of the urgency of the issue and will bring forward legislation next year to reform PIAB.”
The Action Plan for Insurance Reform, published by Government on December 8th, includes legal reforms, proposals to combat fraud, increase competition and enhance the role of the PIAB to be taken by Government over the next twelve months. The publication of the market study in December 2020 concludes Action 59 in the Plan.
Notes to Editor
The study is available at ccpc.ie/business/research/market-studies/public-liability-insurance/
In July 2019, Minister Humphreys requested the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) to carry out a study of the public liability insurance market in accordance with section 10 (4) of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014.
While the CCPC is independent in the exercise of its statutory functions, under section 10 (4) of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014, the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation has the power to request the CCPC to “carry out a study or analysis of –(a) any issue relating to consumer protection and welfare, (b) any practice or method of competition affecting the supply and distribution of goods or the provision of services, or (c) any other matter relating to competition, and to submit a report to the Minister in relation to the study or analysis.”
Action Plan for Insurance Reform
The Programme for Government sets out a range of commitments to reform the insurance sector in Ireland. These commitments include addressing legal reforms; addressing fraud; increasing competition and enhancing the role of the PIAB. The Government has established a Sub-Group on Insurance Reform chaired by the Tánaiste under the Cabinet Committee on Economic Recovery and Investment to drive implementation of these commitments.
The Action Plan for Insurance Reform launched on December 8th reflects the insurance reform commitments made in the Programme for Government and sets out 66 measures for reform in the short and medium term. It assigns responsibility to Government Departments for delivery and sets out associated timeframes for delivery of the commitments.
About the CCPC
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission is the statutory body responsible for enforcing consumer protection and competition law in Ireland and its mission is to make markets work better for consumers and businesses
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