FF to propose taskforce to tackle rise in motor insurance costs

Michael McGrath says premiums up 60% and consumers face more increases in next year

Michael McGrath: “There has long been a need for a claims register to be established so that we can compile the data.”

Michael McGrath: “There has long been a need for a claims register to be established so that we can compile the data.”

 

Fianna Fáil wants a new taskforce established to help tackling spiralling motor insurance premiums.

The party is to table a motion in the Dáil this week calling on the Government to act.

Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesman Michael McGrath said consumers have had their premiums increased by 60 per cent and face additional increases of 25 per cent in the next year.

Mr McGrath said: “There are many factors that have led to dramatic hikes. There are, of course, issues within the industry itself. I have no doubt there was underpricing for a period of time.

Legal costs

“But there are other factors that need to be addressed including legal costs, an increase in the number of fraudulent claims and the number of cases handled outside of court.

“There has long been a need for a claims register to be established so that we can compile the data. There is a need now for a co-ordinated and sustained effort to stop the excessive hikes in premiums.”

The motion is recommending for the insurance industry to be transparent about its profits and to establish a national claims register.

Increase penalties

It also calls for a change in legislation to increase penalties for false and exaggerated claims.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has already initiated a review of insurance costs. However, Mr McGrath said an internal report led by the Department of Finance would not strike fear in the industry.

The Cork South-Central TD said it was not a sufficient response to the scale of increases.

He said: “It has been quite dramatic. The level of increases people are paying is overwhelming.

“People are now paying several hundred more than they were this time last year, and they will face even more next year unless we take action.”

The motion, which will be debated tomorrow, is expected to be supported by Sinn Féin.

The party’s finance spokesman, Pearse Doherty, said the party had not discussed it in detail but he could see no reason not to back it. The party would table its own amendments to the motion.

The Labour Party said it had not discussed whether to support it yet.