Claims related to uninsured drivers jump to 2,758

A jump in motor insurance claims, relating to uninsured or untraced drivers, has been maintained for the second consecutive year, according to the latest figures from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI).

In 2015, the number of claims was 2,516. That figure rose by 11.4% in 2016, to 2,802. In 2017, 2,758 claims were made, a marginal 2% decrease on the previous year, but still 9.6% higher than 2015.

MIBI chief executive David Fitzgerald said the past two years had seen a “marked increase” in claims, compared to the 2,400 to 2,500 claims in the years up to, and including, 2015.

He said there were a number of factors fuelling this rise, “including the number of uninsured drivers operating on Irish roads”.

The MIBI recently warned that uninsured driving was reaching “epidemic levels”. There are an estimated 150,000+ private vehicles without insurance on Irish roads, up from 85,000 in 2011.

The bureau estimates that motor policy-holders contribute approximately €30 on every policy towards the cost of claims made by the victims of uninsured and untraced drivers.

The largest number of claims in 2017 — 1,140 — came from Dublin, 41% of all MIBI claims last year. Cork had the second-highest number of claims, although the 212 received in 2017 was lower than both 2016 (243) and 2015 (213). Limerick accounted for the third-highest, with 156 claims in 2017.

While the national claim figures were broadly similar between 2016 and 2017, some significant regional variations did arise on a proportional basis. Leitrim had the highest percentage increase in the number of claims (70%), followed by Roscommon (60%), Carlow (43%), and Monaghan (42%). The largest percentage drop in claims came in Kilkenny (-39%), followed by Offaly (-34%), and then Wicklow (-33%). Mr Fitzgerald said the bureau is “continuing to work with the gardaí, the State, and the rest of the motor insurance industry to bring forward measures that will help combat this problem [of uninsured drivers]”.

The MIBI is a not-for-profit organisation established to compensate victims of road-traffic accidents caused by uninsured and unidentified vehicles.

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