‘Morally challenged’ getting income supplement from exaggerated insurance claims

‘Morally challenged’ getting income supplement from exaggerated insurance claims
Chief Justice Frank Clarke.

Exaggerated insurance claims are “an income supplement to the morally challenged”, says the State’s largest public sector insurer head of claims.

Courts must take a firmer stance in not only throwing out fraudulent claims but also imposing costs and prison terms on fraudsters, according to Michael Whelehan, head of claims at Irish Public Bodies Insurance, the State insurer of public bodies and councils.

He warned that those who lodge fraudulent claims are “walking free from courts with the message to spin the wheel again”.

Chief Justice Frank Clarke has announced that a new committee to review personal injury awards will begin soon.

The failure to tackle excessive payouts is undermining community and voluntary events as funds are diverted from services to pay for increased insurance premiums, Mr Whelehan has warned.

He said existing rules need to be implemented “with vigour”, and fraudulent claims should be met with “costs, dismissal, fines and imprisonment as realistic propositions”.

“Local services will be constrained, leisure and amenities curtailed, funds diverted, and we will continue to fund the making of insurance claims and exaggerated insurance claims as an income supplement to the morally challenged,” said Mr Justice Clarke.

John O’Driscoll, Assistant Garda Commissioner in special crime operations, said there may be more convictions.

“Potential exists to achieve additional success in the prevention and detection of insurance-related fraud,” he said.

Under Operation Coatee, gardaí target “not only those that receive a payment arising from a bogus, questionable and exaggerated claim but also anyone who facilitates the commission of crime in this nature”.


More in this Section

UK Election: DUP set to lose kingmaker role with Conservatives on course for majorityUK Election: DUP set to lose kingmaker role with Conservatives on course for majority

Gardaí suspect man, 30s, died after fall in DonegalGardaí suspect man, 30s, died after fall in Donegal

Appeal for help to find Louth man missing for almost two weeksAppeal for help to find Louth man missing for almost two weeks

Taoiseach to demand €1bn from EU for investment and support in border regionTaoiseach to demand €1bn from EU for investment and support in border region


Lifestyle

Unique drawings by Quentin Blake, one of Britain’s best-loved illustrators, are available at a Christie’s online auction which runs until December 17.Your chance to buy drawings by Roald Dahl illustrator Quentin Blake

Ciara McDonnell talks to four high-profile people about their festive traditions and favourite tracksHere's what has these famous faces rockin’ around the Christmas tree

More From The Irish Examiner