Reforms of the insurance industry will increase transparency and should drive down prices

insurance dublin

TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has welcomed that the Government are finally enacting Consumer Insurance Contracts Act, a law that was written by Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty that will enhance the rights of consumers and businesses when they are taking out insurance policies. Teachta Doherty introduced the Bill four years ago and it has been held up by Government at the expense of the consumer. Crowe described the move as a victory Common sense.
 
Teachta Crowe said: “My colleague Pearse Doherty introduced the Consumer Insurance Contracts Bill to the Dáil in January 2017, more than four years ago. It passed all stages of the Dáil at the end of 2019 with overwhelming support and was signed into law by President Higgins in December. “This legislation shifted the balance of power away from insurers in favour of consumers. “The insurance industry had three years to prepare for this legislation, but the Minister still bowed to their demands by blocking sections of this legislation until now.
 
“The sections which will now come into effect are hugely significant and will make it harder for insurance companies to wriggle out of paying valid claims on spurious grounds.  “After the full enactment of this law, insurance companies will not be permitted to simply refuse to pay a valid claim in its entirety due to an innocent and genuine mistake made by the consumer in providing details when they were taking out the policy. “Now, under this new section, the burden will shift to the insurers to make sure that they ask the right questions, and any genuine mistake or omission on the part of the consumer must be dealt with in a proportionate manner and cannot be used as a basis to disallow the entire claim. 
 
“Consumers are no longer required to volunteer information at renewal and do not have to provide any information at renewal unless specifically asked to by an insurer. Insurers cannot simply ask general questions. “This is the type of reform that will make a difference to the cost of insurance. Too many people have had insurance, only to be told that it wouldn’t pay out when something tragic happened because of an issue with paperwork. The insurance industry must be transparent if it is to be fair and that is what this law is about.
 
“I wholeheartedly welcome the full enactment of Pearse Doherty’s reforms and congratulate him for persevering and holding the Government to account for so many years on the issue of insurance reform. “Consumers are tired of waiting for reform and there must be no more delay tactics by this government. Every delay only costs the consumer money and benefits the big insurance companies. The adoption of the final pieces of this legislation is a victory for common sense; it will favour the consumer and should lead to a decrease in premiums.”

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of www.newsgroup.ie with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at info@newsgroup.ie.

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