Garda insurance fraud bureau should be established ‘without delay’

Lobby group representing brokers says consumers paying hefty levies on policies

A Garda fraud investigation bureau needs to be established “without any further delay” to ensure genuine insurance claimants get what is “rightfully theirs”, a lobby group representing brokers has said.

In advance of its insurance conference being held today, Brokers Ireland said genuine claimants are being "made to feel like they are engaging in fraudulent activity by claiming what is rightfully theirs" because of continuing fraud within the market.

The lobby group, which represents 1,250 brokers, said there should be a strong focus on implementing recommendations of the Personal Injuries Commission.

The commission revealed earlier this month the average compensation award for whiplash injuries in the Republic is approximately 4.4 times higher than in Britain.


Fraud enforcement department

"The establishment of a Garda fraud investigation bureau along the lines of the insurance fraud enforcement department in the UK needs to be done without any further delay," said Cathie Shannon, director general of insurance at Brokers Ireland.

“What is often forgotten is that consumers are paying very hefty levies, some called stamp duty, on their non-life insurance policies, amounting to 7 per cent when the new 2 per cent levy following the collapse of Setanta Insurance comes into effect on December 1st.”

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

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