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Press Release

Minister Michael D’Arcy welcomes the new rules introduced today by the Central Bank in relation to transparency in motor insurance costs

Published: 1 November 2019
From: Department of Finance

Minister Michael D’Arcy TD, has today welcomed the new rules introduced by the Central Bank in relation to transparency in motor insurance costs. The new rules mean that insurers must now provide their customers with greater information when renewing their motor insurance policies.

The background to these new rules is a recommendation from the Cost of Insurance Working Group Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance and the changes have been made through amendments to the Non-Life Insurance (Provision of Information) (Renewal of Policy of Insurance) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No.74).

The new rules require insurers to provide policyholders with details of the prior year’s premium paid, as well as quotations for each policy option available to them (such as comprehensive, third party fire and theft and third party only). In addition, the renewal notification period has been extended from 15 to 20 working days for motor, health, property and general liability insurance to allow policyholders more time to seek comparison quotes.

Following today’s announcement, Minister of State D’Arcy said:

“This is a positive development for consumers as it provides them with more information and more time when comparing motor insurance prices. Improving transparency is a key part of the Government’s insurance reform agenda and I thank theCentral Bank for their work on introducing the new rules.”
“Today’s announcement facilitates consumers with the opportunity to shop around for their motor insurance.”
“Insurance reform remains high on the Government’s agenda, and the Cost of Insurance Working Group and its participating members are continuing to work on measures to help increase the affordability and availability of insurance.”
“I welcome the CSO figures from August 2019 showing that the price of motor insurance has declined by 24% since its peak in July 2016. There is still much work to be done and in this regard, and the next significant step is bringing award levels more in line with other jurisdictions.”
“The establishment of the Judicial Council is expected before the end of the year, and I hope that the Judiciary will prioritise the development of new personal injury guidelines which will reflect amongst other things, the jurisprudence of the Court of Appeal and results of the Personal Injury Commission benchmarking exercise.”

Further information for journalists:

The Cost of Insurance Working Group (CIWG), which was established in July 2016, and which produced two reports, is continuing to work to implement the recommendations of the Cost of Motor Insurance Report and the Cost of Employer and Public Liability Insurance Report. Its most recent Progress Update, the Ninth, was published in July 2019 and shows that the vast majority of recommendations and actions due by Q2 2019 have been completed. To that end, the key achievements to date from the two reports, including the following:

  • The establishment of the Personal Injuries Commission and the publication of its two reports, which included a benchmarking of award levels between Ireland and other jurisdictions for the first time. This showed that award levels for soft tissue injuries in Ireland were 4.4 times higher than in England and Wales;

  • The enactment of the Judicial Council Act 2019, in July which provides for the establishment of a Personal Injuries Guidelines Committee. The Judiciary are tasked with introducing new guidelines to replace the Book of Quantum. While the Government cannot interfere in their deliberations, it is hoped that the Judiciary will recognise the importance of this issue and prioritise it accordingly;

  • The commencement and prioritisation by the Law Reform Commission (LRC) of its work to 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, as part of its Fifth Programme of Law Reform;

  • The establishment of the National Claims Information Database in the Central Bank to increase transparency around the future cost of private motor insurance. The CBI is due to make its first report by the end of 2019, and will also make recommendations regarding potentially expanding its scope to include employer and public liability insurance;

  • Reforms to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board through the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (Amendment) Act 2019 to strengthen the powers of PIAB around compliance with its procedures;

  • Commencement of the amendments to Sections 8 and 14 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 to align the timeframes by which claims should be notified to businesses with GDPR time limits on the keeping of CCTV footage to make it easier for businesses and insurers to challenge cases where fraud or exaggeration is suspected;

  • The reform of the Insurance Compensation Fund to provide certainty to policyholders and insurers, resulting from the failure of Setanta Insurance; and,

  • Various reforms of how fraud is reported to and dealt with by An Garda Síochána, including increased co-ordination with the insurance industry, as well as the recent decision by the Garda Commissioner to develop a divisional focus on insurance fraud which will be guided by the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) which will also train Gardaí all over the country on investigating insurance fraud, and the recent success under Operation Coatee, which targets insurance-related criminality.