Speaking in the Dail last night on a Sinn Féin Bill to improve transparency in the insurance sector Sinn Féin TD for Laois-Offaly Brian Stanley said:
“I welcome the opportunity to speak on this Bill. Insurance companies have ripped off the public for too long. The insurance sector made profits of €142 million last year, yet premium prices kept increasing. This Sinn Féin legislation would force insurance companies to pass on savings to their customers and reduce premium prices as a result of new personal injury guidelines.
"A recent survey by Sinn Féin found that 58% of respondents had seen their premiums increase. This is despite the new guidelines. Our legislation forces the industry to outline to the Central Bank how it has passed on the savings to the public. Similar legislation has been enacted in Britain and governs the practices of all relevant companies there such AIG, AXA, Aviva, Alliance and RSA, all of which operate in this country.
“Dual pricing is another issue on which Deputy Doherty has done a lot of work. This practise was banned by the FCA last Friday yet continues here in Ireland. The British ruling affects both home and motor insurance. Dual pricing involves the overcharging of loyal customers on renewal premiums and can drive up prices by in the region of 35%. The Central Bank has recently investigated this practice in Ireland thanks to complaints submitted by Deputy Doherty and Sinn Féin and it found that the practice was widespread. It meant that 'hose customers with the longest tenure' were 'paying the most'.
"We need to see action on both these fronts. We need action now to outlaw these practices. The ball is firmly in the Government's court, and any thoughts of delaying this are outrageous. There has been too much delay and there should be no more delays. It is time to act.”
“Following the Governments move to amend the Sinn Fein legislation. Brian Stanley TD accused them of “Kicking the can down the road and letting the insurance companies off the hook again."
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