The CCPC says some firms may have openly signalled upcoming increases
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has launched an investigation into pricing in the motor insurance market.
It says it has issued witness summonses and information requests to major providers and industry groups representing insurers and brokers.
"The CCPC is currently investigating suspected breaches of competition law in the motor insurance sector", it says in a statement.
"The investigation relates to industry participants openly signalling upcoming increases in motor insurance premiums in the State."
The CPCC says statements by senior industry players have raised "serious suspicion" as to whether there is a link between these messages, and subsequent price increases.
It adds that evidence collected through both witness summonses and information requests will help in establishing whether there has been a breach of competition law.
Insurance Ireland says it will "comply with the witness summons and will co-operate fully with the Commission in its investigation".
"Insurance Ireland is fully satisfied that it has no issue in relation to competitive practice and is confident that this will be confirmed through this process," it adds.
The CCPC says it has been monitoring the motor insurance industry, and that the sharp rise in motor insurance premiums has had a significant impact.
It says it will, if necessary, take action to stop specific anti-competitive practices in the motor insurance sector.
CCPC chairperson Isolde Goggin said: "Markets work best where businesses vigorously and independently compete against each other for customers.
"Statements signalling future pricing predictions or intentions may result in a degree of unspoken coordination, which may breach competition law."
Anyone who believes they have evidence of a breach of competition law in the motor insurance sector is asked to contact the CCPC.