The Alliance for Insurance Reform has this morning welcomed reports that the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) will investigate the Irish liability insurance market. Commenting on the development, Peter Boland, Director of the Alliance said “our members have struggled to understand how their liability premiums have rocketed in the last 5 years while there has been no corresponding increase in either claims or awards. Research we carried out in May showed that on average, liability policyholders experienced an average increase of 204% in their premiums over the last 5 years, closing businesses, making many more unviable and threatening many organisations in the Irish voluntary and community sectors. We would welcome any additional transparency that might give an insight into why this happened.

“Further we urge the Government to move much quicker to publish other long-promised transparency measures on liability insurance like the National Claims Information Database and the Key Information Report on Employer and Public Liability Insurance Claims due at the end of last year. Equally, we would urge the CCPC, if they are progressing this investigation, to include employer liability and well as public liability.”

Eoin McCambridge, Managing Director of McCambridges of Galway and Director of the Alliance said “While we welcome this news, we urge Government and all other interested parties not to get distracted from more immediate reforms.  Hard-pressed SMEs and voluntary organisations cannot wait for the years it will take for this investigation to be completed and have an impact. Ireland stands virtually unique in the scale of general damages we hand out for minor injuries. This has had a long-term negative impact on our insurance market and reform of the book of quantum by the promised Judicial Council must happen as a matter of urgency. We urge Minister Flanagan to establish the Judicial Council immediately and not allow vested commercial interests to deflect from the progress or work of the Council”.