Ireland’s competition watch dog, Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) will carry out a market study into the public liability insurance market. This comes after calls from the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD to tackle the issue of insurance and public liability costs.
Under section 10(4) of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014, the Minister has the power to request the CCPC to “carry out a study or analysis” of
- Any issue relating to consumer protection and welfare
- Any practice or method of completion affecting the supply and distribution of goods or the provision of services
- Any other matter relating to competition
The study will consider the following areas:
- How the Public Liability market operates;
- How competition works in that market;
- Whether any practice or method of competition affects the pricing levels of public liability insurance within the market;
The CCPC has invited individuals and groups to provide relevant information to the CCPC. The CCPC has the power to request individuals to attend interviews and provide documentation. It can also issue questionnaires and conduct market surveys etc.
A time frame for the study has not been provided and past studies have taken several years. The CCPC is currently in the middle of an ongoing motor insurance sector study which has been underway since September 2016. Previous findings by the CCPC have been significant and have led to changes in the law or further analysis and reports.
The next steps will be for the CCPC to publish a ‘terms of reference’ which will confirm the scope of their study.
In a statement the CCPC stated, “this market has national significance and the CCPC looks forward to conducting this market study and contributing to the State’s efforts to bring about widely-supported change in the sector”.