Government denies media reports over motor premiums

The Irish Government has not ruled out price controls on motor insurance premiums.

This followed claims in the Irish press that final copies of the long-awaited Motor Insurance Advisory Board (MIAB) report into motor insurance had been leaked to the media.

According to reports, the MIAB recommended that the government apply to the European Union (EU) for permission to set controls if motor premiums continued their rapid rise.

Motor premiums have become a contentious issue between the public and insurers in Ireland.

In response to parliamentary questioning on 22 February, Enterprise, Trade and Employment Minister Noel Treacy denied that the newspapers could have seen the report.

"Deputies should not be misled by reports in today's papers purporting to quote from the report," he said.

"While the report is still being worked on, the final version is not yet ready for presentation to the board members for their approval."

However, Treacy did not rule out government price controls.

"EU law prevents us from intervening in matters of either the pricing or underwriting of insurance," he said.

"However, I'm confident that the transparency the awaited report will provide about the Irish insurance market, as to the relationship between risk and premium charges, will be of positive assistance in the future."

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) is unlikely to release the report until mid-March.

A DETE spokeswoman said Treacy would receive the report by the end of February and take a few weeks to review it.