Antitrust investigation into Insurance Ireland must be extended beyond motor insurance sector

Longford Leader reporter

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MEP for Longford and first Vice-President of the European Parliament Mairead McGuinness

MEP for Longford and first Vice-President of the European Parliament Mairead McGuinness

In response to the announcement by the European Commission to launch a formal antitrust investigation into Insurance Ireland to assess whether or not the conditions of access to its Insurance Link data pooling system may restrict competition, MEP for Longford and first Vice-President of the European Parliament Mairead McGuinness has called for this investigation to be extended beyond the motor insurance sector as a matter of urgency.

The announcement by the Commission is focused on the Insurance Link database within Insurance Ireland.

Ms McGuinness remarked, “While the investigation is welcome, and there are particular issues with motor insurance, there are also deep concerns and a need for greater transparency in relation to other forms of insurance.

 “Several businesses spoke of their concerns about the escalating costs of public liability insurance and called for EU action to address the issue."

The MEP said she has committed to setting up a meeting with the Competition Commissioner and business leaders to impress on her how serious this issue is and the need for urgent action at EU level.

“The Irish insurance market needs to be analysed and questions must be answered about why insurance remains essentially within a member state rather than greater cross border purchase of insurance policies as provided for under the Services Directive.

“Time is of the essence on this issue and the EU Commission working with Ireland must address the exorbitant insurance costs or more activity centres and local community organised events will close and be cancelled. This is unacceptable," she added.

“It is particularly relevant in a small market like Ireland where the same companies, members of Insurance Ireland, offer a diverse range of insurance products,” she said.