Kildare North Fianna Fáil TD, Frank O Rourke, has called on the Government to consider opening up the EU Car Insurance market for Irish drivers, following the unprecedented increase in car insurance premium in recent years.
“The most recent figures on motor insurance, show premiums have raised by almost 40% in the last year, as the underlying rate of inflation stands at 0.5%. In fact the main cause of this 0.5% inflation relates to the rising cost of insurance overall.’
“It is not unusual for young people in their early 20s to be asked to pay anything between €6,000 and €12,000 a year for their car insurance. This premium level is not an option for many young people, many of whom require cars for their educational, work or family purposes, as I have established at my clinics in recent weeks.’
“I know from liaising with my colleague Deputy Michael McGrath, that the claims which are being paid out have reduced in recent years, from claims paid out of €1.5 billion in 2011 to claims paid out of €1.01 billion in 2014. Insurance companies have also returned to profitability. This should have led to reduced premium costs not increased premiums.’
“I raised this matter in the Dáil recently and called on the Government to re-establish the Motor Insurance Advisory Board (MIAB). Given the track record of the MIAB in the past, it seems to me to be an imperative action for this Government, if we are going to make progress on reducing the motor insurance costs.’
“I also believe that we should look at opening up the insurance market to the EU, whereby, we could purchase our insurance in Germany or France and that it would cover our driving in Ireland. This would have the effect of increasing competition in the market and should reduce premiums from their current high levels.’
“Rising cost of insurance reduces net income available for people to spend on other life’s essentials and is key driver to increasing the cost of doing business in Ireland. As I said in my Dáil contribution, there is little point in the modest reduction in the USC in the last budget being transferred to enhance the profit of the Insurance companies.‘ concluded Deputy O’Rourke, who is committed to raising the issue in the Dáil again in the next session.”