Michael McGrath calls on Govt to speed up reform of insurance industry

Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesperson Michael McGrath has said that the Government needs to accelerate reform of the insurance industry in Ireland.

There has been a complete failure to tackle insurance fraud, he told RTE radio’s Morning Ireland.

Mr McGrath said that the decision of the European Commission to open a formal investigation into whether Insurance Ireland is operating a cartel by restricting access to a claims database, is “potentially very significant.”

Consumers will want to know “if there is a level playing field” between established insurance companies and “those who want to get into the Irish market.”

He said there are questions that need to be answered about who has access to the database, called Insurance Link, which allows members of the organisation and large corporations that self-insure, to access the claims history of individuals seeking to take out a new policy with a provider.

He questioned if it was appropriate for the industry to have control of such a database.

Mr McGrath said: "If there is a restriction on new entrants to the insurance market in Ireland then consumers are the losers and end up paying the price.

“The Government needs to accelerate reform. A national claims database is still awaited and there has been a complete failure to tackle insurance fraud.

“Consumers continue to bear the brunt of the lack of insurance reform and review.”

He said that the decision of the European Commission will put a sharp focus on the issue of insurance reform.

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