Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West Michael Moynihan says a new Bill introduced by his Party will see people bringing fraudulent insurance claims being forced to pay all of the legal costs of the case.
The Civil Liability & Courts (Amendment) Bill 2019 will also impose heavier penalties on those convicted of insurance fraud.
Deputy Moynihan explained, “Despite consistent warnings from my party and industry experts, this government has failed to put any tangible measures in place to tackle insurance fraud. Because og this lack of action, we are seeing insurance costs for businesses and personal customers increase exponentially. Indeed, we are now regularly hearing stories of businesses that are being forced to close because they simply can no longer afford their premiums.
“The current penalty for someone convicted of insurance fraud is a maximum of 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to €100,000. Someone facing a summary conviction for insurance fraud can face a maximum of 12 months in prison and/or a fine of up to €3,000.
“This Bill will see that maximum summary conviction fine increase to €5,000, but on top of that, if a claim is dismissed because it is suspected of being fraudulent, the claimant will be forced to pay the legal fees of the defendant.
“Fianna Fáil has already introduced legislation, which if enacted would allow for suspected fraudulent cases to be passed on to the DPP.
“We need to beef up the laws in this area to deter people from making fraudulent claims. It is only when this area is effectively tackled that we, as consumers, stand to see any fall off in insurance costs”, concluded Deputy Moynihan.