The Alliance for Insurance Reform has today published the results of an ongoing survey that shows that insurance premiums continue to rise despite trends in claims costs and recent reforms.

The Alliance has been running the survey since the implementation of new Judicial Guidelines for personal injury awards on 24th April 2021. Since then, 0ver 450 businesses and voluntary and community groups have responded1 and they tell us that:

  • Their premiums have increased by 15% on average on renewal
  • Homecare businesses are being hit by average increases on renewal of +122%
  • Nursing homes are seeing average increases on renewal of +35%
  • Hospitality premiums are up another 9% despite a significant drop in the level of activity in the sector
  • In a follow-on survey, member organisation The Wheel found that 45% of respondent charities, voluntary and community organisations have seen increases of over 10% in their liability insurance
  • Respondents reported an average reduction in private motor insurance renewals of -10%, consistent with CSO data for the same period

Eoin McCambridge, Managing Director of McCambridge’s of Galway and director of the Alliance said “The total number of liability-related personal injury claims has reduced by 47% over the 11 years between 2009 and 20192 and a further 16% last year3. PIAB has just announced4 a 40% reduction in average personal injury awards. The Perjury Act has been commenced. The Garda Insurance Fraud Coordination Office has been opened. Economic and social activity has been slashed for the last 19 months.  And to further reduce future risk, insurers are excluding Covid-19 from many policies on renewal. The risk associated with each and every insurance premium has plummeted in the last year and a half.”

Tracy Sheridan, owner of Kidspace play centres and director of the Alliance said, “Everything is being done to facilitate affordable insurance. And yet we still see premiums increasing. Before the pandemic, premiums were already unsustainably high for so many sectors of Irish society. Now, if the economy and society as a whole are going to recover from the pandemic, premiums must come down significantly for SMEs, voluntary and community groups, sports and cultural organisations and charities as a matter of urgency.”

Peter Boland, Director of the Alliance said, “It is clear that the incumbent insurers cannot be relied upon to pass on savings. Government must act now to improve competition by getting additional underwriters into the market as a matter of extreme urgency. They must ensure that insurers hold firm on the new Judicial Guidelines rather than settling at higher rates to clear claims. And they must rebalance the duty of care in a way that is fair, reasonable, practical, proportionate and in the public interest; reform PIAB in a meaningful way; and get a publicly-owned fraud database established. Ultimately, they must ensure that all the savings being made are passed on to consumers so that Ireland gets affordable insurance right now and in the long term.”