Donegal TD Pearse Doherty says insurers have been caught red-handed by a Central Bank review into dual pricing in the market.
The majority of insurance companies are using controversial differential pricing, the probe has found.
Dual-pricing occurs when customers with a similar risk profile are charged different premiums. One of the most common practices is when companies offer better deals for new customers.
Recent research by Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty uncovered cases where loyal customers were charged up to €740 more for the same insurance cover.
Deputy Doherty has welcomed the early publication of the review this week, which first arose from the submission of a complaint he made to the Central Bank in October 2019.
The Central Bank is now calling for immediate action from insurers following the conclusion of the first phase of its review.
Doherty TD said: “What the Central Bank have uncovered during the initial phase of their investigation is absolutely damning and is of such concern that they have communicated to the CEOs of all insurance firms instructing them to implement immediate requirements on foot of their findings.
“This confirms what I submitted to the Central Bank in October last year – that the insurance industry is using dual pricing to rip-off their customers.
“The Central Bank have confirmed that the insurance industry uses pricing methods that punish loyal customers and harm vulnerable and low-income groups.
“Today’s findings expose the insurance industry. They have been caught red-handed, having come before the Oireachtas Finance Committee last year claiming that there was nothing to see.”
Deputy Doherty said he will continue working to have the practice banned in Ireland.
He said: “There is only one way to regulate this practice and that is to ban it, as has been done in several States in the US. That is what I intend to pursue through legislation. It is time to end the insurance rip-off.”