Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath has described as deeply worrying new figures which show a dramatic surge in the number of consumers who had to avail of the Insurance Ireland ‘Declined Cases’ facility having failed to secure a motor insurance quote in the market.

Deputy McGrath commented, “Following a 74% increase in 2015, the number of cases dealt with under the ‘Declined Cases’ agreement has surged a further 67% in 2016 to reach a new record high of 1,941. When you consider that the number of cases in 2012 was just 178, you get a sense of how dramatic and worrying this trend is.

“Given that consumers only apply under the Declined Cases agreement if they have failed to get a quote in the market, these figures are symptom of a dysfunctional market at present. Insurance companies are becoming more and more selective in the profile of customers they want. Many older drivers, younger drivers, people with an open claim, taxi drivers, returning emigrants and motorists with older cars are among those who have fallen out of favour with many insurance companies.

“The figures released by Insurance Ireland only capture those cases that have been brought to their attention. It is inevitable there are many more cases where consumers have simply given up having failed to get a reasonable insurance quote or indeed any quote at all. In addition, we don’t know how many of the 1,941 consumers who brought their case in 2016 ended up with a quote that they could afford. It is likely many of them got a quote under the Agreement which was essentially out of reach and completely unaffordable.

“Dáil Éireann will next week debate a Fianna Fáil motion on the need for greater action to tackle the escalating insurance premiums faced by motorists but also the dramatic hikes many firms are facing for insurance cover for their business.”