Young people and the elderly are bearing the brunt of exorbitant motor insurance costs and a root and branch reform of the insurance system is necessary- that’s according to Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon/Galway Eugene Murphy.
Deputy Murphy was speaking in the Dáil on the debate on the Motor Insurance Working Group Report.
Deputy Murphy said that the working groups report was welcome but the key issue is implementation and reduced motor insurance premiums.
“Fianna Fáil has long been calling for the government to act on the rising cost of motor insurance. In 2014 Motor Insurance increased by an annual rate of 11.6% while in 2015 it rose by 30.8%. In the 12 months to August 2016 Motor Insurance increased by 28%.It is frustrating that it took until January 2017 for the Government to respond to this major issue,” said Deputy Murphy.
The Fianna Fáil TD outlined a number of examples of cases - one was of a nineteen-year-old girl with no penalty points who had seen her insurance quote go from €3,500 to €5,100.
“I had another example of an eighteen-year-old girl whose parents bought a car for her – the car cost €2,800 and the insurance quote was €6,500. There is a situation now where people with eight, nine or ten year old cars simply cannot get an insurance quote despite the fact that the car has passed the NCT. Young people without any penalty points and no offences are being penalised before they even sit in behind the wheel of a car.
“A root and branch reform of the insurance business is vital- I had a lady from my constituency who was nursing in a major hospital and she could not get a quote for car insurance for less than €5,000 so he packed up her bags and is gone to Australia - that’s the reality of what the insurance industry are doing to people in this country!
"We also have a situation whereby elderly people with impeccable driving records being refused insurance quotes- it’s absolutely outrageous!,” said Deputy Murphy.
Deputy Murphy said it was vital that the recommendations made by the Working Group on the Cost of Insurance were now implemented. The report is simply no use whatsoever unless it is followed by Government action and ultimately reduced motor insurance premiums
“Renewal notices and quotes need to be more transparent and should be broken down point-by-point. Compulsory premiums should be differentiated from discretionary ones. Fianna Fáil called for this earlier in the year. Over 70% of personal injury claims are settled outside the PIAB and the Judiciary. There is no visibility on these claims. Despite this the insurance industry claims that the rising cost of claims and legal costs are the reason for increasing premiums. There is currently no way of verifying this claim. The establishment of a Personal Injuries Commission is necessary to investigate, recommend and provide benchmarks for claims. We also need to see the introduction of an insurance fraud database,” concluded Deputy Murphy.