Friday 24 May 2019

Insurers 'should hand over database of claims'

Peter Boland: Alliance director wants insurance database handed over to the State. Picture: Don Moloney
Peter Boland: Alliance director wants insurance database handed over to the State. Picture: Don Moloney
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Insurance companies should have a controversial database on the claims history of drivers taken away from them and transferred to the Central Bank, campaigners for insurance reform said.

The Alliance for Insurance Reform and Fianna Fáil both questioned if it was appropriate for the industry to have control of such a database.

It follows a probe into the use of the database by Insurance Ireland, with claims of cartel-like activity by insurers.

The alliance called for control of the InsuranceLink database to be transferred to the State, by insurers handing it over to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board or the Central Bank.

Peter Boland, director of the alliance, said: "This database is too systemically important to be in the control of a small number of companies, via their representative body.

"This GDPR-compliant database could become the State's claim-by-claim database and become even more valuable as a means of monitoring the insurance market."

It comes after the Government announced in October it was abandoning its plan to establish a claim-by-claim register of injury compensation cases.

Fianna Fáil's Michael McGrath questioned if it was appropriate for the industry to have control of its own claims database.

"If there is a restriction on new entrants to the insurance market in Ireland, then consumers are the losers and end up paying the price," he said.

The European Union's Commission has opened a formal investigation into whether Insurance Ireland, the representative body for the industry, is operating a cartel by restricting access to the database.

The database, called InsuranceLink, provides the claims history of individuals who are seeking to take out a new policy with a new insurer.

The database is run by Insurance Ireland and contains the claims history of all drivers.

Insurance Ireland had no comment about proposals to take its claims database away from it.

Irish Independent

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