People found guilty of perjury could face €100,000 fine under proposed laws

Insurers, brokers and businesses have come out in favour of key reforms being considered by the Government to curb fraudulent and misleading insurance claims.

Jonathan Hehir, managing director of CFM Group insurance brokers, said his association supports fully the Perjury and Related Offences Bill which is going through the Oireachtas.

People found guilty of perjury could face 10 years in prison and a fine of up to €100,000 under proposals examined by the Cabinet today. The bill, sponsored by Senator Pádraig Ó Céidigh, could help tackle insurance fraud.

“We back these measures 100% and believe that they could prevent many small businesses from going out of business,” said Mr Hehir.

“There are currently very few deterrents for insurance fraudsters – it’s simply a matter of win or lose when it comes to taking cases in the courts. But if there were a third outcome in the mix – win, lose or prosecute, then this small but impactful cohort of people, who see insurance crime as an easy route to cash, might think twice before entering the courts.”

The Alliance for Insurance Reform, meanwhile, called on the Government and others in a position to help, to make a massive effort to get real insurance reforms over the line in what it describes as a crucial week for embattled policyholders.

The call follows confirmation that the Judicial Council Bill will reach Report stage in the Seanad tomorrow amid reports that the Garda Commissioner is open to looking at options with regard to fraudulent insurance claims.

The Bill, which was unveiled in 2017, would cap awards in personal injury cases in an effort to reduce premium levels and allow judges to recalibrate guidelines for injury payouts.

The Government has committed to having the Bill enacted by the third week in July. The Dáil is currently scheduled to break for the summer recess on Thursday, July 11.

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