Department defends pace of insurance costs reform

By Pádraig Hoare

The Department of Finance has insisted “steady progress” is being made in implementing recommendations made in the Cost of Insurance Working Group (CIWG) report, following criticism that no “meaningful change” has occurred.

The department was responding after the Alliance For Insurance Reform group, which is made up of 20 business organisations, fiercely criticised the “negligible pace of progress” on the CIWG report.

The group also called for a statutory financial conduct authority to be established to supervise the insurance industry, which was “rolling in money”, on behalf of policy holders. It said despite the recommendations, there had been no reform of personal injury payouts.

Minister of State, Michael D’Arcy.

Following the CIWG’s Motor Insurance Report in early 2017, it then published a report on employer and public liability in the context of the cost of business insurance in January, headed by Minister of State, Michael D’Arcy.

The report called for a review of damages in personal injuries as well as tackling fraud and exaggerated claims.

A spokeswoman for the department said: “Work on the CIWG is ongoing with steady progress being made in a number of areas. Minister D’Arcy recognises the importance of this work continuing apace and acknowledges the impact that high insurance premiums is having on the business sector.”

She said there was a “need for the insurance industry to be more robust in challenging dubious claims”.

Industry representative body Insurance Ireland said it agreed the pace of reform was not satisfactory. A spokesman said: “We fully agree that the pace of reform on tackling the cost of claims needs to be accelerated.

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