Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance, Michael McGrath TD has expressed disappointment at the fact that the Government will not implement a claim-by-claim database to tackle high insurance costs.
Deputy McGrath commented, “The cost of insurance – whether it be motor insurance or business insurance – remains a major issue for households and businesses across the country. In many cases, the cost of insurance is far above what is reasonable or fair and is putting families and viable businesses under enormous pressure. Motor insurance premiums are still 30% higher than what they were just four years ago.
“Transparency is one of the main issues facing the industry. Currently, around 70% of claims are settled out of court and outside of the Injuries Board process, meaning that nobody can make an informed opinion on the scale of personal injury claims in Ireland.
“The Government’s plan to establish a National Claims Information Database is now nearly 12 months behind schedule. This database was to be up and running by the fourth quarter of 2017, yet the legislation is still only making its way through the Dáil.
“Fianna Fáil has done everything possible to facilitate this legislation but the fact remains the database will not be in place until well into 2019.
He added, “It has now emerged that the Government will not be implementing a claim-by-claim register. According to a Department of Finance report slipped out quietly during the week, the proposal has been shelved. A claim-by-claim register would give the various arms of the State a huge insight into individual trends on insurance claims throughout the country. For example, such a register could be used by Garda Síochána to tackle insurance fraud, which in itself is driving up insurance costs.
“All this points to the fact that the Government’s Cost of Insurance working group is running out of steam. The Personal Injuries Commission published its second report in September and the Government has yet to say when it plans to implement the ten recommendations.
“Insurance is a priority issue for Fianna Fáil. We have raised it many times in the Dáil and we brought forward a number of pieces of legislation that would help to tackle high insurance costs. The Government must not allow the Cost of Insurance Working Group to simply fade into obscurity.
“Insurance reform will continue to be a priority for Fianna Fáil and we will continue to ensure the Government treats it with the urgency it requires”, concluded McGrath.