Irish-based firm raided by European Commission expects to be cleared

Wright Insurance Brokers one of four firms reviewed over concerns of anti-competitive practices

One of the Irish-based firms subjected to a raid by European Commission officials this week amid an investigation into concerns of anti-competitive practices has said it expected to be cleared when the examination ends.

The Irish Times reported on Friday that the investigation of insurance providers centres around the market for insuring trucks and lorries.

Wexford-based Wright Insurance Brokers has said that the commission had finished its initial investigation at the company’s office and was unlikely to issue its findings for a number of months.

“However, we do not anticipate any negative findings, sanctions, or fines,” it said on Friday afternoon. “We expect a positive outcome for Wright Insurance Brokers.”


The three other firms known to have been inspected by competition authorities this week – Aon, Marsh and Campion Insurance in Dublin – have said that they were co-operating with the review, but declined to comment on the potential outcome. A spokesman for the European Commission, which has made it clear that the inspections do not mean that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behaviour, also declined to comment.

Worrying picture

Meanwhile, a number of Irish road hauliers have painted a worrying picture of the haulage industry.

"We're struggling to stay in business," said Stephen Mullen, the owner of Sligo Haulage and Distribution. Mr Mullen employs more than 40 people, has 15 trucks and 15 vans on the road, and has worked in the industry for 35 years.

Mr Mullen’s insurance more than doubled the last time he renewed, to €82,000. He believes insurance is going to destroy the logistics industry.

In addition to insurance-related woes he sees red tape as another factor that chips away at his company’s bottom line. “There’s so much red tape. To be honest, I don’t want to be in business any more,” he said.

Verona Murphy, president of the Irish Road Haulage Association and the owner of Verona Murphy Transport in Co Wexford, said the premium increases have become punishing.

“My insurance went up 300 per cent with a full no claims bonus... in the last three months. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business