A range of new measures are on the way to help consumers make informed decisions when it comes to renewing their insurance policies.

According to the Central Bank, renewal notices will have to be sent to policy holders 20 days in advance of when their cover expires, rather than the current 15 days.

Insurers will also have to provide a quotation for all of the cover options they offer in one single renewal notice.

The previous year's premium will also have to be displayed on the renewal notice under the new rules.

The changes, due to take affect from 1 November, arise from recommendations made in the Government’s Cost of Insurance Working Group, the regulator said in a statement.

"The Central Bank adopts a risk-based approach in prioritising its work, which ensures that resources are focused on those areas considered a significant threat to the Central Bank’s consumer protection objectives," the bank said.

"This includes carrying out a comprehensive annual consumer risk assessment, whereby we examine the Insurance sector to identify current and emerging risks."

"This assessment is informed by intelligence from a number of sources including ongoing supervisory engagement, information received from internal/external stakeholders, data from the Conduct of Business Returns and social media monitoring."

It is also understood that the bank is to commission a study to inform its next actions in relation to the issue of "price differentiation" or "dual-pricing".

This is the practice of varying the prices charged for an equivalent product to different consumers with the same or very similar risk characteristics.

This can lead to difference in the margin and the profits or losses made by firms for different cohorts of consumers buying the same product.

One example of this would be the charging of higher prices to renewal than new consumers, because existing customers may be unlikely to move insurers.

The Central Bank and Competition and Consumer Protection Commission are coming under growing political pressure to examine the issue.

Both Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil have claimed that dual-pricing is about punishing loyalty and vulnerable consumers are often those who are negatively impacted by the practice.

Pearse Doherty, Sinn Féin's finance spokesman, has written to both the Central Bank and CCPC seeking an in-depth investigation into the issue.

In the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority recently said it was considering banning dual-pricing as it was contributing to around 6 million policyholders having to pay high prices for home and motor insurance,

Here the Central Bank, which does not have a role in regulating pricing, said it noted the contents of the FCA’s interim report.

"The Central Bank will consider the content of these publications, along with any further output from the FCA in respect of this issue," it said.