Bill published following EU infringement proceedings over motor insurance rules

Bill published following EU infringement proceedings over motor insurance rules

Legislation bringing Ireland in line with EU motor insurance rules has been published by ministers following the beginning of EU infringement proceedings.

The Motor Insurance Insolvency Compensation Bill 2024, which transposes Articles 10a and 25a of the revised Motor Insurance Directive, will protect motor insurance policyholders in the event of an insurer becoming insolvent.

The European Commission last month sent a letter of formal notice to Ireland for not having fully transposed the 2021 Directive, which it was required to do by 23 December 2023.

Finance minister Michael McGrath said: “The Motor Insurance Insolvency Bill 2024 is a vital piece of legislation that will further protect both customers and injured parties when an insurer goes insolvent.

“The bill builds upon the existing insurance compensation framework currently in place within the State. The establishment of a compensation body with a centralised function to compensate policyholders and injured parties is a positive development for consumers, making it easier for claimants to seek compensation following a motor insurance failure.

“A crucial component of this bill and the EU Directive is the move away from what is known as the ‘host’-based system to the ‘home’-based system for insurers.

“This now means that if an insurance company is based in another EU member state and selling into the Irish market, it will ultimately fall on that member state to pay if the insurer goes insolvent. Irish policyholders will not have to foot the bill in such instances.

“We have seen in past where insurers have failed, claimants have been left completely in the lurch while the liquidation process goes on. This important legislation will ensure injured parties will get their just compensation in a timely manner and I look forward to bringing it through the Oireachtas in the weeks ahead.”

Neale Richmond, minister of state with special responsibility for financial services, credit unions and insurance, added: “This government has made real progress in implementing insurance reform and this bill will build on this work by further protecting motor insurance policyholders if an insurer goes insolvent.

“Ultimately, this bill means that if you have an accident and an insurer involved is insolvent, the Motor Insurance Bureau will ensure that you will be protected and you will receive your compensation.

“Rather than dealing with liquidators, customers will go directly to the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland who will handle these claims, and will ensure that customers receive their compensation within three months of the offer.

“Crucially, the cost of these claims will be met by the home country of the insurer, meaning that Irish insurance customers will not be footing the bill for insolvencies outside of Ireland.

“This bill is a positive development for anyone who holds motor insurance in Ireland and is a further testament to the government’s commitment to insurance reform.”

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