An Oireachtas committee has heard that inflation is likely to lead to a rise in home insurance premiums.

Chief executive of Insurance Ireland Moyagh Murdock said that inflation is "having a major impact, and it's unquestionable that it feeds into everything we do."

"Insurance has to cover the risk and these costs go up, you want to make sure you're properly insured," she said, and cited recent concerns from the Central Bank over "the risk that people are underinsured in their home insurance policies".

"Undoubtedly construction costs are hitting everybody", with labour shortages adding to this, she told Sinn Féin TD Louise O'Reilly, who responded that people will be concerned at the remarks.

The Joint Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment is continuing its examination of the General Scheme of the Personal Injuries Resolution Board (PIAB) Bill.

This is the latest step in insurance reform, following last year's introduction of judicial guidelines which substantially cut award levels for minor injuries.

The PIAB is run by the State to address personal injuries claims, rather than going to court.

The Director of the Alliance for Insurance Reform, Peter Boland, revealed that the expected drop in insurance premiums has not materialised for many of his members.

Some 42% say that insurance costs threaten the future of their business.

And almost a third say insurance costs are preventing them from providing certain services, up from a quarter four years ago.

Mr Boland recounted that some European counterparts have responded to the situation in Ireland with "disbelief and in some cases laughter".

He said that the bill is critical in moving Ireland to a place where "insurance isn't an existential issue."

Insurance Ireland also supports the bill which, the Government says, will "facilitate an increase in the number of personal injury claims that may be resolved through the Board's process."

In recent days, festivals, agricultural shows and leisure centres "have seen very substantial increases" in premiums, he told the committee.

Liability premiums for the alliance's members have increased by 16% in the past year, and this comes on top of previous "savage increases," Mr Boland said.

Asked about the 16% rise, Ms Murdock said, "that is not indicative of the market itself", as "generally speaking" her members are reporting a "flat level" in premium costs.

For 93% of policy holders, premiums cost under €5,000, and for 85% it's under €2,500, she said.

This prompted Fine Gael TD Richard Bruton to note that, "They can't both be right", and appeal for "shared statistics that everyone agrees with."

Mr Boland said that, "if you're based in an office and your static", you will have seen a drop in your premium.

But for everyone else, they have seen significant rises, he added.

Both Mr Boland and Ms Murdoch expressed concern over challenges being brought against the judicial guidelines for the PIAB which were introduced last year.

Ms Murdoch cited one circuit court case where a settlement of over four times the original PIAB "generous offer" was ordered by the court, with "no rationale given for the deviation" from the new guidelines.

The case is being appealed in the hope of getting the new guidelines "reaffirmed by the courts" and so bring "certainty" to the process, she told Fianna Fáil Senator Ollie Crowe.

Mr Boland expressed serious concern over the substantial resources being put into challenging the operation of the guidelines, and urged the Government to protect them.