Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow – Kilkenny Bobby Aylward says the recommendations of an Oireachtas Insurance Report must be implemented as soon as possible to help combat spiralling motor insurance costs.

Deputy Aylward made the comments after the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance accused the motor insurance industry of ‘cartel-like’ behaviour. The committee published 71 recommendations to make the process of applying for insurance more transparent.

“The findings of this report will not come as any surprise to motorists in the South-East who are forking out extortionate amounts for car insurance premiums, which have risen by up to 70% in the last three years. For many it has become an extremely unwelcome financial burden and unnecessary source of increased anxiety and worry,” said Deputy Aylward.

“Small businesses are also being adversely affected and have been pushed to breaking point as the cost of premiums for their fleets soar. All the while jobs and livelihoods are being put at further risk as employers and small traders feel the squeeze. Such practices are severely undermining growth in the SME sector at a time of great uncertainty amid the Brexit bombshell.

“The report points to unacceptable behaviour by insurance companies over the last number of years. They have been allowed to pass the burden to the consumer with virtually no repercussion from the Government or Central Bank.

“The Committee’s examination of this issue has been a worthwhile endeavour and the Government now has an opportunity to show the public that they are serious about tackling spiralling motor insurance costs.

“One of the recommendations is that the Central Bank should take a more hands-on role in regulating the insurance sector to ensure greater transparency. It’s wholly unfair that motorists in Carlow and Kilkenny have been left in the dark over rising premiums and just expected to put up and shut up.

“It is important that these recommendations are acted on without delay so that consumers are protected against these rip-off motor insurance costs. I along with my party colleagues will continue to push for the speedy implementation of these measures so that drivers and businesses can finally avail of affordable insurance premiums,” concluded Deputy Aylward.