Sinn Féin general election candidate Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú has welcomed the decision by the Central Bank to investigate price discrimination within the insurance industry.
Appearing in the Dáil Finance Committee on Tuesday, Central Bank officials confirmed that a review into the impact of dual pricing would be undertaken.
Cllr Ó Murchú said,
“Over recent months I have successfully brought two motions to Louth County Council calling on the government to address dysfunction in the Irish Insurance industry and to end dual pricing.
“I have been closely monitoring my party colleague Pearse Doherty TD and I fully support his efforts to bring this industry to book.
“Insurance providers are targeting renewing and vulnerable customers and charging them with extortionate prices in the expectation that they will not ask questions or shop around.
“This is unfair, anti-consumer, and must be stopped. It is discriminating against vulnerable customers and another example of the industry’s unfair practices in the market.
“I am pleased that the Central Bank have agreed to Pearse Doherty’s request and will undertake a review to find out the impact this harmful practice has on consumers, with recommendations for further action.
“In the United States dual pricing has been made illegal in as many as 17 states, including California and Florida. In Britain, regulators are considering banning the practice outright. Irish consumers deserve no less.
“The Consumer Protection Code 2012 makes clear that insurance companies should act honestly and fairly in the best interests of consumers. Dual pricing is practiced without the knowledge of consumers and discriminates against vulnerable groups and loyal customers.
“While the Central Bank is able to ban pricing practices that are not compliant with the principles of fairness and transparency.
“It is clear therefore that the Central Bank has the power to ban dual pricing. Irish consumers deserve no less.
“Sinn Féin will continue to push for the best outcome for those who are being ripped off by insurance costs.”