Fianna Fáil TD for Wexford James Browne says tackling soaring motor insurance costs needs to be a top priority for the next Government.

Deputy Browne raised the issue in the Dáil and highlighted how consumers and businesses have had to overcome crippling premium increases year on year since 2011.

“The Central Statistics Office has pointed out that motor insurance is now the fastest rising item for households and businesses in Ireland. Premiums have increased by almost 40% since last year, and insurers are warning of further increases of up to 25% this year. Despite this the outgoing Government has done little to address the spiralling cost of motor insurance,” said Deputy Browne.

“The increase in motor insurance costs reflects a combination of government imposed costs, poor regulation, mis-management by the insurance sector and legislative failure. The result is a situation whereby motor insurance is now a major squeeze on the finances of households. People simply cannot afford to absorb any further increase in costs.

“Hackney and taxi companies are also facing substantial increases in the cost of their motor insurance. This is resulting in the withdrawal of such services in communities across Wexford. This is seriously problematic as more and more people are having to rely on hackneys and taxis as a result of cutbacks to public transport services. People with disabilities are also finding their insurance premiums are increasing above the average rate.

“Fianna Fáil is setting out clear proposals to tackle motor insurance costs. This would involve re-establishing the Motor Insurance Advisory Board which was previously successful in reducing motor insurance premiums. The board could examine the profitability of the industry, the settlement of claims and the impact of false and exaggerated claims on premiums.”