Dáil Éireann - Volume 573 - 23 October, 2003
Written Answers. - Insurance Industry.
Mr. Gogarty Mr. Gogarty
53. Mr. Gogarty asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the measures the Government's special committee on insurance reform is considering to tackle the high cost of insurance here, other than the introduction of the penalty points system or the proposed Bills from the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform to streamline court proceedings and discourage spurious claims. [24600/03]
Ms Burton Ms Burton
74. Ms Burton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the progress made to date with regard to the implementation of her action plan for the insurance industry; the timetable for the implementation of the different elements of the plan; if she intends to take steps, in the meantime, to deal with the escalating cost of insurance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24470/03]
Mr. Durkan Mr. Durkan
86. Mr. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the steps she has taken to reduce insurance costs; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24729/03]
Ms Harney Ms Harney
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Ms Harney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 53, 74 and 86 together.
The insurance reform programme that I announced on 25 October last comprises a comprehensive set of inter-related measures designed to improve the functioning of the Irish insurance market. I chair a ministerial committee established to drive the co-ordinated implementation of the reform programme across the relevant Departments. Substantial progress is being made on a range of measures that will radically overhaul the functioning of the insurance market.
Progress has been made on the implementation of the majority of the Motor Insurance Advisory Board recommendations and to date 23 have been implemented. I have already brought in regulations requiring insurers to give policyholders 15 working days notice for renewal of motor insurance policies and also requiring no claims bonus information to be provided with renewal notices. These are designed to facilitate policyholders make price comparisons.
The Government recently approved the drafting of the general scheme of the Bill to place the Personal Injuries Assessment Board on a statutory basis. It is hoped to enact the legislation by the end of the year and the board should be hearing cases early in 2004.
My Department and the Competition Authority are undertaking a joint study into the insurance market. The study will identify and analyse barriers to entry and limitations on rivalry in the insurance marketplace. It is envisaged that the bulk of the work will be completed this year and that a report will be produced in the early part of 2004.
Penalty points for speeding offences, not hav ing motor insurance and not wearing seat belts have been introduced by the Minister for Transport. Initial indications are that the introduction of penalty points is having a positive effect and the Minister is seeking reduced insurance premiums for non-offending motorists in return for access to the penalty point data.
The Government on 1 July 2003 approved the general scheme of the Civil Liability and Courts Bill, which was published by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform on 4 July. The Bill will reform the law on personal injuries and will include measures to deal with spurious and/or exaggerated claims and other issues.
Dáil Éireann 573 Written Answers. Insurance Industry.