Ireland’s competition watchdog is to begin an examination of the public liability insurance market as premiums continue to soar.
It comes amid concern that brokers may be working with the industry to fix prices.
A number of festivals and events have either closed or warned that they are at risk due to soaring insurance premiums.
According to a recent survey by the Alliance for Insurance Reform (AIR), liability insurance premiums have risen by 204% over the past five years.
Half the businesses that responded to the survey said the rising prices were threatening their future.
This morning, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) confirmed that Business Minister Heather Humphreys had asked it to carry out a “market study” of the sector.
It noted that the market has “national significance” and said it looks forward helping bring about “widely-supported change in the sector.”
The AIR has welcomed the planned investigation, noting that any extra transparency on what is causing premiums to rise at such speeds is welcome.
It said the investigation must not be allowed to overshadow the need for a number of other urgent reforms in the industry.
The CCPC has a range of investigative powers at its disposal, including the ability to interview individual and gather records and documentation.
It has said the investigation is still in the early stages, adding that it will extensively engage with all relevant stakeholders as soon as its terms of reference have been set.
Any group or individual interested in submitting information to the body ahead of the study should email: PublicLiability@ccpc.ie.