Hauliers need a change in the law to allow them shop around for insurance in Europe, the president of the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA), Verona Murphy, has said.
Ms Murphy said transport firms have had particular difficulty obtaining competitive quotes for motor insurance.
“We have members who are complaining in some cases of increases up on 300 per cent. I had a member call me this week, they’re at a €75,000 increase. That’s for a company, for a number of vehicles, but not a big company and that’s a 40 per cent increase on what they were paying last year.”
She said her members had not received any explanation or justification from insurance companies for the increases.
"They are giving all the same spiel. The risk assessment of these companies is not valid in what [insurers] are saying about courts and appeals, and whiplash, for the simple reason that for many of these companies 90 per cent of their operation is outside of the State. They're on the continent. They're in every country in Europe; they have a 90 per cent chance of having an accident outside Ireland.
“We have asked them what the risk assessment for someone like that is. They don’t tell us, they don’t answer us. We’re always asking about the single market but nobody seems to have an answer.
"We've tried the Central Bank. They seemingly only regulate parts of the insurance market. I don't know which parts; they didn't seem to know which parts and therefore we can't get an answer to it.
"From the competitive sphere, you have Liberty in an article yesterday in The Irish Times complaining that there's not enough data or transparency within the market.
“Liberty are relatively new, they took over the Quinn operation, so if you have one of the main insurers now complaining that there’s not enough transparency in the data and there’s not enough data, there’s really something very wrong.
"Our big concern is that the cost-of-insurance working group, the Competition Authority or the Central Bank or Insurance Ireland will not be able to do anything quick enough that will help us to survive.
“We need a very short-term solution and legislation needs to be either brought in or removed to allow us to access the single European market.”