Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Clare Rita McInerney has criticised the slow pace of reform on insurance costs, which is putting huge pressure on businesses, farmers, community groups and sports clubs.

“Fine Gael is completely out of touch with the situation being faced by insurance customers across Clare, and indeed the country. As a business owner myself and someone who is heavily involved with local community groups I know all too well how difficult it is for people to cope with rising insurance costs. We have already seen the closure of some small and medium businesses as a result of these increased charges and more could be coming down the line”, said McInerney.

“It was only on foot of pressure from Fianna Fáil that the Cost of Insurance Working Group was set up, and since the group published its recommendations, government action has been slow. In fact, Fianna Fáil is the only party which is pushing the insurance reform agenda and has brought forward the majority of legislation relating to insurance during this Dáil term.

“Our Civil Liability and Courts (Amendment) Bill 2019 will ensure that those who bring fraudulent claims will have to pay the legal expenses for the defendant – this would at least ensure that they will not walk away scot-free when they are convicted.

“If Fine Gael was serious about tackling this problem it would implement plans for a personal injury claims database which would go some way to curtail fraudulent insurance claims and it would adapt the Fianna Fáil Bill to deter fraudsters in the first place.

“Insurance costs in this country are unsustainable – people simply can’t afford their premiums. Unless the government progresses our legislation, there will be no deterrent for fraudsters and insurance costs will remain unreasonably high”, concluded McInerney.