Motor insurance raids
In a move that undoubtedly has motorists around the country rubbing their hands in glee, providers of motor insurance in Ireland were raided by agents from the European Competition Directorate, accompanied by personnel from the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. The raids were part of an ‘anti-cartel investigation’, The Irish Times reports.
In a statement, the Commission said that it has “concerns that the companies may have engaged in anti-competitive practices in breach of EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices and/or abuse of a dominant market position”, while also noting that such unannounced inspections aren’t necessarily an indication of guilt.
Elsewhere, Irish consumers are being warned that ‘fake insurance brokers’ are selling fraudulent insurance policies door-to-door, online and in pop-up shops. An Garda Síochána has noted that two forms of so-called ‘ghost broking’ are currently doing the rounds: policies purchased from legitimate insurance companies with false information which are then altered before being given to the unwitting consumer; and fake policy documents.
“The net effect of this is that the purchaser has not purchased a valid Certificate of Insurance and has no motor insurance whatsoever and is liable for any damage caused or offence committed as a result of having no motor insurance,” An Garda Síochána says, advising people to beware of purchasing insurance from unusual sources.
Finally, Irish people are borrowing as much as €50 million each month in a bid to finance large purchases such as cars or holidays, according to the Irish Examiner, citing a recent report by the Central Bank.
“These types of loans typically include car loans, furniture, domestic appliance and holiday loans; with overdrafts and credit cards also included. Credit card debt represented approximately 20 per cent of outstanding consumer bank credit in May,” the Bank stated.