“The Irish insurance market is notoriously secretive, with little or no useful data publicly available for policyholders or policymakers” commented Alliance Director Peter Boland of the development which introduces a notice period of 20 working days to apply to premiums including private motor, liability, commercial motor and house insurance, “a shocking situation for a sector policyholders are either legally or morally obliged to engage with.
“In this context we welcome these new regulations and the minor additional information they will provide to private motor insurance policyholders. However we note that only one of these reforms applies to liability insurance or most other types of insurance – the extension in renewal notification to 20 working days. So holders of liability, household, commercial motor or other forms of insurance will still not get last year’s premium printed on this year’s renewal notice.
“Additionally we note that the insurance industry fought tooth and nail to avoid providing this basic information and only cooperated after nearly three years when the CBI resorted to legislation. If more substantial transparency reforms move at this pace it will be our children’s’ children – not us – who benefit from them.
By way of example the Alliance highlights the Key Information Report on Employer and Public Liability Insurance Claims as a report planned by the Department of Finance to add some transparency to the liability market in the absence of any data at all at the moment.
Publication was scheduled for Q4 2018 but according the most recent Cost of insurance Working Group Update, “the DoF is still awaiting the transmission of the requested data from Insurance Ireland.
“It is understood that Insurance Ireland are continuing to consult with members in relation to the feasibility of this exercise and hope to be in a position to provide a substantive update on feasibility shortly.
“Accordingly, it will not be possible for the DoF to produce and publish this report until a data submission is compiled and transmitted by Insurance Ireland.
“While the DoF recognises that this exercise is complex and that Insurance Ireland has never compiled this level of data with regard to employer and public liability insurance before and ultimately it is a voluntary exercise, it feels that this delay demonstrates the importance of the CBI’s consideration of the potential for expanding the scope of the NCID to cover EL and PL business.”
Peter Boland therefore urges the Government to move much more quickly to publish other long-promised transparency measures on liability insurance such as this report that was due at the end of 2018 and the National Claims Information Database liability report; as well as taking the InsuranceLink claim-by-claim register into public ownership.
He continued, “We continue to get reports from young drivers, drivers of older cars and commercial vehicle users that they’re not seeing the much-heralded motor insurance reductions tracked by the CSO.
“And research we carried out in May showed that on average, liability policyholders experienced an average increase of 204% in their premiums over the last five years, closing businesses, making many more unviable and threatening many organisations in the Irish voluntary and community sectors. We would welcome any transparency that might give an insight into why this is happening.”