Fianna Fáil to table motion to examine 'ridiculous hikes' in motor insurance premiums

Fianna Fáil to table motion to examine 'ridiculous hikes' in motor insurance premiums

Fianna Fáil is moving a Dáil motion calling for the Government to act on rising insurance costs for drivers.

People renewing their cover since the start of 2014 have seen premiums rise by hundreds of euro.

The party will table a motion this evening to bring increased transparency to the industry and is calling for a motor insurance taskforce to be established to investigate the current situation.

Fianna Fáil is also demanding the creation of a new National Claims Register to force insurance companies to publish anonymised details of all of their payouts.

Fianna Fáil's finance spokesman Michael McGrath said the Government can no longer stand idly by.

He said: "There are many issues that are behind these increases, including false claims, exaggerated claims, utterly fraudulent claims and the issue of legal costs.

"But for us there is a need for transparency. Let's compile a national claims register, let's identify the reasons why premiums are going through the roof."

As much as 80% of the claims lodged the Injuries Board are now being settled outside its remit, with many secret cash settlements taking place between road accident victims and insurers.

Mr McGrath told the Irish Independent: "At the minute, there are public records on the decisions of the Injuries Board and the courts, but there is a big black hole and a deficit of information for at least 75% of cases.

"We don't know what level of awards are being agreed so it's hard to evaluate the companies' claims in that regard."

He also criticised the fact that drivers are routinely being hit with "ridiculous hikes" of between €200 - €300 and denied that Fianna Fáil's motion was merely a "stunt" to undermine the minority Fine Gael-led government.

Insurance Ireland has blamed hikes in premiums that have seen a 35% average rise for motorists on "the spiralling cost of claims".

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan looks likely to resist the motion, as he has already initiated a review of insurance costs.

McGrath, however, has argued that an internal Department of Finance report would not go far enough.

Today's motion is expected to be supported by Sinn Féin.


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