FF Dáil motion set to tackle "enormous" motor insurance costs - O'Brien - Premiums have risen by 34% over the last year -
Fianna Fáil is tabling a motion during Dáil private members time later this evening to demand urgent action to halt soaring motor insurance costs.
Since January 2014 consumers have experienced a 60% increase in the cost of their motor insurance including a 34% hike in the past year alone. Commercial users have also seen similar rises, with insurers warning of further increases to come.
“Motorists are required to have a minimum of third party insurance cover, so the cost of motor insurance is a major issue for family finances. A rise of €200 - €300 is now typical for customers renewing their policy. Motorists are justifiably frustrated with these stark increases.” O'Brien explained.
“Prior to 2013 we experienced a period of falling motor insurance premiums. However the benefits that were achieved from concerted action to reduce costs are now sadly dissipating.
“Fianna Fáil believes that there is an obligation on the state to respond to these soaring premiums. In our view there is a need to re-establish the Motor Insurance Advisory Board to examine all relevant issues that affect insurance premiums.
Deputy O'Brien commented, “We need further details about the inner operations of the insurance sector. Customers are asked to accept the word of the industry to justify these enormous price hikes, but without any accurate information.
“My party and I support the establishment of a motor insurance database which would collect information from insurers relating to account premiums and claims settlements. This would lead to increased transparency within the industry and would further improve policy formulation without breaching commercial confidentiality.
"Additionally, action is needed in relation to false claims which are hiking up costs for all consumers. It is essential that people can be confident that those who make false or misleading claims will be prosecuted and face a real risk of jail time. In order to underline the seriousness with which the State regards false and exaggerated personal injury claims, an amendment to the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 may be required.
“Significant progress was made throughout the 2000's in the area of road safety - Measures such as the introduction of penalty points, random breath testing, rigorous enforcement activity by An Garda Síochána and numerous effective Road Safety Authority awareness campaigns all contributed to a dramatic increase in road safety and helped drive down insurance costs.
“It is crucial that An Garda Síochána and the Road Safety Authority are adequately resourced to allow them to continue to enforce the rules of the road and promote road safety. To achieve this we must increase the strength of the Traffic Corps and equip the force with the necessary means to detect and prosecute reckless drivers,” concluded Deputy O'Brien.