Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has today introduced the Insurance (Restriction on Differential Pricing and Profiling) Bill to the Dáil.
The legislation would reduce insurance prices, increase fair competition, and reduce the time and money customers spend switching
Speaking today, Deputy Doherty said the introduction of the Bill is a “landmark moment” for the Irish insurance market.
“Insurance companies use dual pricing to identify customers who are less price-sensitive and target them with artificially high premiums.
“They do so using opaque and complex pricing models using big data without the knowledge of consumers. Its objective is simple – to overcharge customers as much as they possibly can.”
Last month the Central Bank published analysis confirming that insurers in the Irish market use dual pricing, with renewing customers paying significantly more than the actual cost of their policy.
Deputy Doherty continued: “It affects more than 70% of insurance customers, with the report showing that 2.5 million policyholders are paying a total of €187 million more than the actual cost of their policies as a result of dual pricing.”
The Central Bank also found that this disproportionately impacts older and more vulnerable customers.
“It’s time to ban dual pricing,” Deputy Doherty said.
“In Britain, the FCA found that a ban to dual pricing would save consumers between €4 and €12 billion over the next decade, increasing competition and transparency.
“That is why the British regulator is banning the practice. It is why dual pricing has been banned in 20 US States since 2014.
“Dual pricing discriminates, it overcharges customers and distorts the market.
“My legislation will ban its use.
“This legislation will reduce premiums, resulting in significant savings for consumers.
“It will also require insurers to inform customers of the factors they have used to calculate their premiums at renewal.
“It will require the Central Bank to regulate this ban on dual pricing, and publish a Code of Practice that will assist both the Courts and the FSPO where an insurance company has broken these new laws.
“Sinn Féin vowed to end the rip-off by the insurance industry.
“Banning dual pricing was a commitment we made in our General Election Manifesto.
“This legislation will ban the practice and reduce prices for consumers. I hope and expect that it will receive cross-party support.
“Irish consumers deserve no less.”