Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Eamon Scanlon says insurance companies should not be allowed to refuse to insure cars which have passed their NCTs and are roadworthy. He was speaking following complaints from constituents that insurance companies are refusing to cover older cars, even if they are fully NCT compliant.
He raised the issue with the Taoiseach in the Dáil this week.
Deputy Scanlon explained, “There is no reason for insurers not to provide cover for cars which have been deemed roadworthy by the NCT, however I have been contacted by people who have had trouble getting car insurance if there car is ten years old. This issue will become a serious problem unless it is addressed.
“The latest figures available reveal that there were 139,000 people who had cars that were 10 years or older in 2018. Three years previous, that figure stood at 44,300. There are many people who simply cannot afford to replace their car for a newer model, while others choose not to because their car is running fine. Many cars, once they are serviced regularly, can last as long as 15 years without any issues.
“The main issue here is that we could be facing a situation where over 100,000 may not be able to get cover if the insurance companies get their way. These companies have been charging extortionate premiums over the past number of years and now some are refusing to provide cover despite the fact that a car has been deemed roadworthy.
“If nothing is done, it will have serious implications for drivers, small garages and even the tax take – as there will be a loss of revenue to the Exchequer. It will also cause a devaluation of cars – as people will be reluctant to buy older second hand cars if they have to be scrapped once they hit the 10 year mark.
“Fianna Fáil has been to the fore in calling for a fairer deal for insurance customers and it was as a result of pressure from my party that the government set up the Cost of Insurance Working Group in 2016. While some of the recommendations have been implemented, many have not. The Insurance (Amendment) Bill will be debated next week and I look forward to ensuring that this legislation has the teeth to protect consumers from rogue insurers”.