Tuesday 17 October 2017

EU is acting on 'insurance ripoff' but Government has been 'pathetically slow' – Dáil told

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin Photo: Tony Gavin
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin Photo: Tony Gavin
John Downing

John Downing

EU Commission raids on insurance companies are evidence that “at long last something is being done about the insurance rip-off,” Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has told the Dáil.

Mr Martin said the Government and other agencies like the Central Bank had been pathetically slow in tackling the “incredible unacceptable rip-off in insurance.”

The Fianna Fáil leader was commenting on dawn raids on insurance bodies in Dublin on Tuesday led by European Commission fair competition officials.

“Most people who heard this news said that at long last something is being done about the insurance rip-off,” Mr Martin said.

“Essentially, it has taken the European Commission to do something about this,” he added.

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Mr Martin said that people had been hit by insurance hikes of up to 60pc since 2011 and motor insurance had risen by 51pc since 2014.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he cannot comment on the investigation which concerns suspected cartels – but the raids of themselves offered no proof of wrongdoing.

Mr Varadkar acknowledged that rising insurance costs had hit individuals, families, and business. He said the Government had taken various actions and the prices had moderated more recently.

But the Taoiseach said the country needed more than moderation in prices. He also said that EU actions must ensure Irish people can buy insurance in other markets just like other goods and services.

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