Mark Ward TD for Dublin Mid West has called on all TDs to support Sinn Féin’s Bill to end the insurance rip-off, which will be debated in the Dáil this Wednesday, 17th February.
The Bill will reduce insurance prices by banning the practice of ‘dual pricing’, used by insurance companies to identify loyal customers and charge them artificially high premiums. The practice affects millions of policyholders, costing many customers hundreds of euro per year on their car and home insurance.
Teachta Ward said: “It is time to end the insurance rip-off and reduce prices for customers. “This Bill, which will be debated on Wednesday, will put money back in the pockets of motorists and homeowners by reducing their premiums. “It will stop insurance companies penalising and ripping-off loyal customers.
“Insurance costs in Ireland are far too high and it is time to ensure customers are treated fairly. “In the past decade insurance costs have risen by 35 percent despite the cost of claims falling by 9 percent. “Insurance companies are price gouging customers every year using a practice that is banned in twenty US states and is soon to be banned in Britain.
“Insurance companies use ‘dual pricing’ to target loyal and vulnerable customers, and then charge them premiums that are higher than the real cost of their policy.
“This is the loyalty penalty – overcharging customers by hundreds of euros every year.
“This cannot be allowed to continue.
“This Bill will finally put an end to this price gouging by banning dual-pricing.
“It will require the Central Bank to draw up and enforce regulations that will govern the ban.
“Any insurance companies that ignore the ban will face heavy sanctions.
“The Bill will also require insurers to tell you exactly how your premium has been calculated.
“In Britain, the financial regulator estimates that a ban on dual-pricing would cut insurance costs for customers by 10%, saving customers between €4 and €13 billion over the next decade.
“Irish consumers deserve no less.
“This legislation will cut prices, increase transparency and reduce the amount of time consumers spend switching and searching for insurance policies.
“The insurance industry will fight against this Bill. We must ensure that it passes.
“I am calling on all TDs from all parties to back this Bill next week and stick up for customers who have been fleeced by unfair insurance costs for far too long.
“It is time to end the insurance rip-off.”