I am encouraged by the report ,published on Thursday, by the Oireachtas Finance committee. I'm delighted that they've taken seriously the recommendations of myself and all other stakeholders they have spoken too.
I am particularly pleased by the recommendation requesting for more clarity and a point-by-point breakdown of insurance renewals. This will allow motorists to see exactly where their money is going and remove the veil of mystery behind which insurance companies have, to now, been able to hide behind.
I do empathise with the insurance companies to an extent, the volatility in the market and high cost of court awards inhibits massively their ability to offer lower premiums based on their risk models. This is an unfortunate consequence of outsourcing the provision of insurance to the private sector, they are going to want to maintain their profit margin by passing their costs onto consumer. That is no criticism of the companies, as this is how any company would operate. It is a criticism of the entire system.
Therefore, I am also encouraged by the recommendation that the minister examine the feasibility of state backed insurance systems such as the New Zealand model. Despite their own drawbacks, these types of systems can reduce the burden on the motorist massively.
This report is a massive step in the right direction for motorists in Ireland. But the government must not sit back and think their job is done. The discussions are complete, action is now required. I ask that the Minister for Finance pushes forward with these recommendations in their entirety. Prove to the people of Ireland that this Government can put them ahead of corporate interest.