European Commission Commercial Insurance Investigation – Update

27th July 2017

The European Commission is currently investigating allegations of price fixing and market manipulation of Irish commercial insurance policies.  Many people in business have complained that their insurance policy premiums have increased without explanation.  There are further complaints that renewal notices only arrive at the very last moment.  Complaints are widespread, even if terms of renewal are provided there is no proper competition in the market place to see where value could be sought.

Following trojan work undertaken by the Irish Road Haulage Association, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, and now the European Commission, inspections were carried out in Ireland to establish whether there is a free and open market for commercial insurance.

We have already been consulted by many companies who have found themselves restricted in their access to quotes for commercial insurance.

We have clients who have been victims of what appears to be restrictions on competition and for which we are now taking positive steps to try and remedy.

Where we have established that there is an absence of competition in the provision of insurance renewals, or where premiums are inflated for no objective reason, we are currently lodging complaints with the European Commission in Brussels.  This is to illustrate the position of the consumer in this investigation.  The Commission’s investigation will not otherwise have access to the consumer viewpoint, and it is our function at O’Dwyer Solicitors to ensure that this viewpoint is well understood by the Commission.

In the event that the Commission does establish that there is an absence of open market and free competition between the competitors in the commercial insurance industry, then those clients who we represent, and who have lodged complaints with the European Commission, will be best placed to maintain an action in damages against the insurance companies and brokers who have acted anti-competitively, if so proven.

The skill and expertise that we have established at O’Dwyer Solicitors leaves us best placed to be able to advise commercial clients who feel they have been adversely affected by insurance companies and brokers, and who feel that they have paid over the odds for insurance premiums.

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