Deputy Peter Burke (FG ) has welcomed the publication of the Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance by Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan and Minister of State for Financial Services, Eoghan Murphy.
Deputy Burke was part of the Finance Committee which submitted a report providing a basis for the recommendations and questioned a number of stakeholders in the industry during public hearings last October, November, and December.
The recommendations, approved by Government, include actions to address the lack of transparency in the claims area, through the establishment of a national claims information database which will be located in the Central Bank; and to provide enhanced guidance in how to determine compensation for personal injuries claims, through the establishment of a Personal Injuries Commission.
They will also tackle the increasing level of uninsured driving, through the establishment of a fully functioning database which will allow the Gardaí to check insurance compliance by the use of technology such as automatic number plate recognition. In addition the issue of suspected fraud will be addressed, through the establishment of a database that will be funded by industry but held by an independent body and will take into account data protection concerns.
Deputy Burke said the publication of the report would result in a reduction in the cost of motor insurance, as well as the opening up of the market to people who cannot currently get a quote.
“Motorists here in Westmeath have been hit by sharp and unfair increases in insurance premiums. I have met with numerous people who have been totally priced out of the market and I raised a number of these examples during the drafting of our recommendations. The implementation of these recommendations will lead to more transparency in the insurance market, end the volatility that we’ve seen in the past, and also see the market opened up to new providers.
“In the interim, before the measures are fully implemented, we will make it mandatory for insurance companies to explain why they are increasing the cost of an individual’s premium.”