Irish motor insurers enjoyed record profits for the fifth straight year in a row last year, with operating profits in 2021 climbing to €176m.
The Central Bank reports that the sector ranked up a €5m hike in profit in 2021 as the number and cost of claims fell.
However, the cost of the average motor premium only dropped by 2% last year to €607.
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance, Pearse Doherty TD, has said that the insurance industry is growing its profit margins at the expense of consumers.
“Motorists continue to be fleeced while small businesses and voluntary groups struggle to survive as their insurance costs continue to rise,” the Donegal TD said.
“It is clear that the insurance industry is taking this government for a ride – when they are given an inch they take a mile.”
Deputy Doherty said that the industry will further profit from reforms in the sector.
“For too long, the government has regurgitated the lines of the industry and bought their spin rather than holding them to account.
“Sinn Féin has held the industry to account on its price gouging of consumers, leading to a ban on the discriminatory practice of price walking.”
The Donegal TD has a Judicial Council (Amendment) Bill before the Finance Committee which would hold insurance companies to account and pressure them to reduce prices in line with the reduced cost of claims.
He said it is time that the government supports the move to hold the industry to account and apply downward pressure on prices.
“My legislation would further hold the industry to account to ensure that reduced personal injury awards are passed onto consumers, euro for euro,” Deputy Doherty said.
“In the teeth of the cost of living crisis, it is galling for struggling consumers to see the industry prioritise profits over fair value and prices.”