Brian Hayes MEP today (Monday) questioned EU Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager on the investigation into anti-competitive practices in the Irish car insurance market.
“Commissioner Vestager made it very clear to me that the Commission is devoting significant resources to the investigation of anti-competitive practices in the Irish car insurance market.
“In July 2017, the Commission carried out dawn raids on the offices of Insurance Ireland and other insurance companies. It is alleged that obstacles have been created for new entrants into the car insurance market to access relevant information such as claims history and penalty points.
“Commissioner Vestager assured me that the Commission is well aware of the importance of this issue in Ireland and explained that her services are currently analysing follow up Q&A documents that were sent to Insurance Ireland after the dawn raids.
“There is no clear date for a conclusion of the investigation but I believe the Commission should aim to complete the investigation by the end of the year. Irish consumers have faced hefty car insurance premiums for many years – between 2013 and 2016, average motor insurance premiums in Ireland rose by 70%. This is totally out of the sync with the Irish growth rates and inflation rates.
“There is still a lack of detail as to why premiums rose so significantly in recent years. We need answers from competition authorities if there were anti-competitive practices in place to the detriment of consumers. Trust has been broken between consumers and insurance companies in recent years and we need to repair that through more transparency and clearer rules on competition.”