Tánaiste Says He Expects Insurance Premiums Will Be Reduced 'Quite Soon'
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said that he expects insurance premiums will be reduced "quite soon" after preliminary data from the Personal Injuries Assessment Board suggested that the average award has decreased by approximately 50%.
As reorted by rte.ie, the information is contained in the first implementation report of the Action Plan for Insurance Reform, which Varadkar presented to Cabinet at Dublin Castle on Tuesday July 6.
Varadkar, who is also the minister for enterprise, trade and employment, published the first Action Plan for Insurance Reform in December of 2020.
The aim of the plan is to make the insurance industry more competitive and consumer friendly.
Varadkar reportedly said that the 50% reduction in compensations paid by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) will not be matched by a 50% fall in premiums, but there will be "a recognisable reduction" in the cost of those premiums.
Varadkar reportedly told RTÉ's News At One that he expects to see the cost of premiums being reduced "quite soon", over the next six months.
Varadkar reportedly said reform of the PIAB will help to reduce legal costs and more competition will also help to reduce premiums.
Preliminary data regarding the Personal Injuries Guidelines reportedly suggests that the average award has decreased by approximately 50%, with 78% of awards being €15,000 or lower, compared to 30% last year.
The government is reportedly planning to strengthen the PIAB further later in 2021 as well as the Consumer Protection Commission via new legislation.
Varadkar reportedly said that the Action Plan for Insurance Reform aims to make insurance more available for people and to reduce the cost of insurance for motorists, homeowners, businesses, community and sporting groups, and that 34 of 66 actions have been implemented and 20 more will be completed over the next half year. These include the establishment of a new office to promote competition in the industry and the introduction of a new law on perjury to help crack down on fraudulent and exaggerated claims.
Varadkar reportedly said that plans are in place to introduce new powers for the Competition and Consumer Commission, examine the report from the Central Bank on dual pricing and change the law on occupiers' liability.
Alliance For Insurance Reform Statements
The Alliance for Insurance Reform has reportedly said that it is baffled by how long it is taking for cost reductions to feed through to drivers and business owners.
Alliance for Insurance Reform spokesperson Peter Boland reportedly told RTÉ's Morning Ireland radio programme that while he welcomes the report, the "real test is what happens next".
Boland reportedly said that the recovery of Irish society will not happen at the pace at which it should happen "unless we get insurance sorted", and that said the alliance would have expected to see premiums dropping from April 14, but "there is no evidence that is happening so far".
Boland reportedly also said that this has been an existential issue for the "best part of five years" and they need to see reductions in insurance costs immediately, and added that it is "extraordinary" how businesses and voluntary community groups have managed to keep going despite the cost of insurance, and Ireland is "completely out of line" with the rest of Europe when it comes to insurance costs.
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