FF Bill to tackle insurance fraud should be given priority – McConalogue

Published on: 11 June 2019

Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal, Charlie McConalogue, has said the Bill introduced by his party to tackle rising insurance costs must now be progressed through the Oireachtas.

He commented, “Our Civil Liability and Courts (Amendment) Bill 2019 is an important piece of legislation that needs to be enacted as soon as possible. Insurance fraud is a major problem for us in Donegal.

“Almost every week across our county businesses, local marts, community clubs, and other festivals up and down the county are being put under enormous pressure due to massive increases in their insurance costs.  

“Car insurance is rising year on year. In our county, with limited public transport, people not being able to afford car insurance and keep a car on the road is a major problem. Among the main reasons for insurance increases across the board is insurance fraud.

“For people perpetrating insurance fraud, there seems to be no downside or deterrent.  Currently, the worst that can happen is that the case is simply thrown out.  Of course, the defendant is often stuck with large legal expenses defending themselves against a fraudulent claim.

“There needs to be tough penalties for those who give fraudulent evidence in court.  This Fianna Fáil Bill will ensure that those who bring fraudulent claims will have to pay the legal expenses for the defendant.  While it is in the remit of the courts to award legal costs, it does not necessarily mean that this happens in reality. The Bill also increases the fine that a District Court can hand out to €5,000.

“I am encouraged that the Government has supported our Bill and I look forward to working with all parties as the legislation proceeds through the Oireachtas.  The Government really needs to up its game when it comes to insurance reform. We need to see the Judicial Council Bill enacted before the summer recess as promised. 

“Little to no progress has been made by Government to curtail rising insurance premiums. The Government should take on board the new Bill introduced by my colleagues and I,” concluded Deputy McConalogue. 

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