Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath TD has said the establishment of a dedicated unit within An Garda Síochána to tackle insurance fraud seems as far away as ever despite being first suggested almost two years ago by the government’s own Cost of Insurance Working Group.

Deputy McGrath commented, “Based on the latest Dail reply from Minister Donohoe, it is hard to have any confidence that we are any closer to such a dedicated fraud unit being set up within the Gardaí. We know that insurance fraud is a problem and is undoubtedly a factor in consumers – including motorists, households and businesses – having to pay higher premiums.

“It is now well past time that the various parties involved stopped passing the proposal from one to the other and got on with getting this fraud unit up and running. People who seek to bring a fraudulent insurance claim should face the full rigours of a Garda investigation and ultimately be brought to Court. Having a dedicated insurance fraud unit in place would equip the Gardaí to step up their efforts in this area.

“In addition, the Cost of Insurance Working Group promised in January 2017 that a fully functioning integrated insurance fraud database would be in place by the end of 2018 to help the industry detect patterns of fraud, yet there is no sign of such a fraud database has been put in place. This fraud database seems to have become mired in data protection concerns and is going nowhere.

“All in all, the government’s efforts to tackle insurance fraud have been a flop so far and the price for this is being paid by motorists, households, businesses, along with sporting and community bodies right throughout the country. Fianna Fáil will be stepping up the pressure on the government to deliver for Irish insurance consumers,” concluded McGrath.