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O'Donnell, Kieran

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Order of Business

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Senator Kieran O'Donnell

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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

I want to raise the issue of motor insurance and Setanta Insurance. At the finance committee, of which I am a member, I asked that we seek the liquidators of Setanta Insurance to come before the committee. I believe there is a general worry and legitimate concern that many of the insurance companies have already factored the whole issue of Setanta into their pricing over the past year. It has now arisen that they are not required to pay. We might ask the Minister for Finance to come before the House to update us on the motor insurance industry. We cannot have a situation in a year's time in which we find that the motor insurance industry has made exorbitant profits over the course of the year. That could happen. It is something that cannot be allowed to happen. An industry is entitled to be sustainable. However, an industry is not entitled to make crazy profits on the back of ordinary citizens.
I spoke to an older person last week. I will not call him an old age pensioner. His car insurance had increased from €700 to €1,200 overnight. That is replicated in many people we deal with. The problem is that the motor insurance industry is well used to manning the barricades, effectively dealing with pressure and taking the pressure. People then peel away and the companies charge the higher rates. I for one will not allow that to happen. We want the liquidators of Setanta to come before the finance committee. I hope they will accept that request. I would like the Minister for Finance to come before this House so that we can once again deal with an updated situation as to what exactly is the position regarding the regulation of the motor insurance industry. I have serious misgivings that embedded in the rates they are currently charging is super-profit. I do not want to look back in a year or two and find that was the case.