The Sinn Féin Consumer Insurance Contracts Bill 2017 passed in Seanad Eireann this evening. I am truly delighted and thank all parties for their support.
This Bill, initiated by Deputy Pearse Doherty in the Dáil, has been described as the “most radical shake-up of consumer legislation in centuries in this state.” It is a crucial reform that will be welcomed by drivers, businesses and community organisations.
The Alliance for Insurance reform said this legislation is “a game changer that will alter the balance of power between insurers and policy holders such as consumers, small firms and community groups”.
I think it demonstrates the value of a strong Opposition looking out for citizens who are being fleeced and just in need of a break regarding the affordability and lack of transparency regarding insurance.
Insurers will now have to provide a schedule outlining any premiums paid in the preceding five years as well as a list of any claims. This will increase transparency and help the consumer when looking for a better deal each year.
More importantly it will require insurance companies to inform customers of any claim made against their policy allowing them to submit their own evidence and informing them of the cost of any claim against their policy that has been settled.
Sinn Féin is taking on the Insurance Industry and ending the rip-off. This legislation is part of our journey to stamp out fraud, protect consumers, ban dual pricing and make premiums affordable.