The Central Statistics Office has confirmed that it will not be continuing with a project to track the cost of insurance for businesses and voluntary groups.

In January 2018, the CSO was tasked by the Government Cost of Insurance Working Group to consider the feasibility of collecting price information on the cost of insurance to businesses, specifically employers' liability and public liability.

The CSO published a report in January 2019, which recommended that a pilot project be initiated to examine a solution that involved automating the submission of premium quotation requests to the online pricing portals of the insurance companies.

While the CSO said the pilot project made progress from a "technical perspective", it confirmed that it has concluded the project and it will not meet the data needs originally identified by the CIWG.

Reacting to the news, Peter Boland, Director of the Alliance for Insurance Reform, said that since the Central Bank abolished the Blue Book in 2015, there has been no data oversight of the Irish insurance market for businesses or voluntary groups.

"While the work of the National Claims Information Database on motor insurance is welcome and has been a revelation, small businesses, charities, sports  and cultural organisations and community groups have no clarity as to why their premiums have rocketed in the last five years, to the extent that many are faced with not being able to afford to reopen post-Covid19," he said.

The National Claims Information Database is due to publish its first liability report in the first half of 2021.

Mr Boland is urging the Government cabinet sub group on insurance reform to ensure that this happens early in the year.

"There must be nowhere to hide for the vested interests who have used this data void so much to their advantage over the last five years. Transparency is a matter of absolute urgency now," he said.