Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle: Donegal drivers particularly affected by dual pricing

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, said Donegal people are particularly affected by dual pricing and profiling in motor insurance, calling the practice “appalling”.

Addressing the Dáil today, Deputy Pringle said: “Constituents in Donegal are especially impacted by differential pricing and profiling because we have one of the highest levels of ‘forced car ownership’ across the country.”

The deputy was speaking in support today of the Insurance (Restriction on Differential Pricing and Profiling) Bill 2021.

Deputy Pringle said: “Many of us know to shop around for our insurance policies each time they are up for renewal. People advise each other to get a number of different quotes from various providers and not to accept the initial renewal prices. The differences are often stark. Hundreds of euros can be saved by shopping around, and this obviously doesn’t only apply to the insurance industry.”

He said shopping around is time-consuming and can be very confusing.

Deputy Pringle said: “You need to have a certain level of literacy, understanding and assertiveness to advocate for yourself with these sectors.

“Which makes it all the more appalling that insurance companies are using profiling techniques in calculating their premiums, such as determining how likely a customer is to renew. This is punishing a customer who dares to think that customer loyalty might be rewarded or that the company has their best interests at heart.

“There are often discounts for shopping online or renewing online. What about the people who don’t have that level of computer literacy or who maybe don’t have access to the internet at home?” he asked.

The bill will address some of the discriminatory practices of some insurance providers relating to pricing and profiling techniques, the deputy said.

He said: “I am glad that we are discussing this bill today and I hope that the Government will accept it.” He criticized the Government for putting out messages on issues that had already been highlighted by the Opposition.

Deputy Pringle said: “We have good ideas, Minister. It would behove you to listen and accept our ideas. That way we would all be working for the betterment of the country.”