Judge Seamus Hughes pictured in Longford District Court
More young drivers are coming before the courts because of “excessive” car insurance premiums, Judge Seamus Hughes has claimed.
The district court judge lashed out at what he termed as the “irresponsible actions” of claims inspectors in driving up costs. He also said that it was no surprise to see the increase in cases of young people who could not afford motor insurance.
The local judge was speaking during the hearing of an Edgeworthstown man who appeared before him charged with no insurance.
Judge Hughes raised the issue of the number of settlements which are being handed out to parents of young children involved in car accidents.
“There are claims inspectors that are coming in and seeking sums of €13,000-€14,000 stating that a mother says her child has resumed wetting the bed despite there being no physical injuries,” he said.
Judge Hughes said he was in no way surprised about the escalating number of cases of people driving without insurance.
He said young people who could not afford excessive insurance were getting disqualified because they took a chance in order to get to work.
“We are in a vicious circle and the powers that be need to do something about exaggerated claims.”
Addressing the court, Judge Hughes said he had been left aghast at an RTÉ Prime Time programme called “Ireland’s Compensation Culture” the previous evening.
“I was shocked to the pit of my stomach to see Prime Time last night and the weasel words that came from people like that,” he said.
“Half the youth population of this country are blighted with excessive car premiums of €5,000-€6,000.”
Judge Hughes said, it was “painful” to observe the number of young drivers who were being charged with driving without insurance.
“We are in a vicious cycle and the powers that be need to do something about the exaggerated and irresponsible actions by claims managers,” he claimed.