The Central Bank of Ireland has today published the Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Act 2013 (Section 48(1)) (Insurance Requirements) Regulations 2022 which will apply to insurance undertakings and insurance intermediaries from 1 July 2022.
A ban on price walking in insurance in the motor and home insurance market will come into effect from 1 July 2022. This means that, from 1 July, insurance providers cannot charge relevant renewing customers a premium that is higher than they would have charged an equivalent year one consumer renewing their policy. However, to support competition and switching, new customer discounts will be allowed.
In addition, insurance undertakings and insurance intermediaries will be required to carry out an annual review of motor and home insurance pricing policies and processes to ensure sound practices.
The Regulations set out the information that must now be provided to consumers in advance of the automatic renewal of an insurance policy, including the right to cancellation. This is another measure to encourage consumers to consider the potential benefits of switching and to increase consumer awareness of the options available to them at renewal time.
Commenting on the new regulations, Director General of the Central Bank, Derville Rowland said, "Financial services providers are responsible for providing products that meet their customers’ needs fairly. We have consistently stated that we will intervene where we have reason to believe that unfair practices are occurring that take advantage of consumer behaviours and habits and we will prioritise the interests of consumers over the behaviours and conduct in firms."
She added, "These new Regulations will significantly enhance the consumer protection framework. This will benefit consumers by removing the loyalty penalty for consumers of long tenure while preserving competition in the market."