Premiums for public-liability insurance have increased by 15-20% over the past three years, according to a study of the market published by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).
The study also found that a lack of independent, public data on the insurance market, as well as a lack of open access to claims-history information, may be acting as barriers to entering the market.
Recommendations for improving access to market
The commission has made a number of recommendations aimed at improving access to data and helping new companies to enter the market.
It also says that the role and remit of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board should be enhanced to provide a more stable and lower-cost claims environment.
The Government asked for the study last year due to growing concerns among businesses, community groups, sports organisations and voluntary associations about premium increases, and the availability of public-liability insurance in recent years.
Reduced availability impact
Commission chairperson Isolde Goggins said reduced availability of public-liability insurance seemed to be mainly affecting sectors such as community and sports groups.
The CCPC makes a number of recommendations on data availability:
- The Central Bank should publish National Claims Information Database (NCID) information at insurer level,
- The Central Bank should develop its data-collection exercise to provide aggregated information at sub-sector level in future NCID reports,
- Access to the Insurance Link database should be provided to all insurers in the market, and the database should be managed by an independent body.
Aids to reducing risk
The commission’s study also contains recommendations to help those who need public-liability insurance, including a call for the State to provide information to organisations on active public-liability insurance providers, and to help organisations to profile their risk, and identify possible options to reduce it.
The CCPC also calls for the development of an international outreach programme to build confidence in the Irish market and support new market entrants.