Not enough being done to combat uninsured driving in Ireland - Aviva

Some 50% of motorists believe that not enough is being done to tackle the growing problem of uninsured drivers on Irish roads according to new research from Aviva Insurance Ireland DAC (Aviva ).

Of those, 27% attribute it to lack of enforcement or garda presence on our roads. This is one of the key findings of a survey of 774 motorists across the country that was conducted by iReach Insights on behalf of Aviva.

A further 25% of survey respondents believe that the primary reason for driving uninsured is because insurance premiums are too high, while 16% are of the view that people simply believe they will get away with it, and 9% think that the fines and penalties are not harsh enough to deter those uninsured drivers.

The Aviva survey found:

Both men and women equally (24% ) shared the view that there is not enough enforcement/garda presence on our roads, highest amongst those aged 25-34 and those over 55 years-of-age

More women (18% ) than men (13% ) believe that the primary reason is that people think they will get away with it, highest amongst those aged 35-44 years of age at 19%.

14% of those aged 55+ believe that the fines and penalties are not harsh enough to deter uninsured drivers, a view shared equally by 8% of men and women

Respondents who said that insurance premiums are too high as the primary reason are from the younger age cohorts of 18-24 (66% ) and 25-34 (34% )

The survey also sought to understand the level of awareness amongst motorists that they pay a subsidy on their motor insurance premium annually to cover the claims caused by uninsured drivers. The findings highlighted that only 65% of drivers know that all insured motorists pay a subsidy in the insurance premium each year to fund these claims. Insurers are required to pass back the costs (€30-€35 per policy ) of uninsured driving to insured customers. However, when asked about the cost of uninsured drivers to insured drivers, 50% of respondents believed the subsidy was just €10 (21% ) or €20 (29% ).

“Uninsured driving is a significant and unfortunately a growing problem on Irish roads and continues to impact on the cost of our customers’ motor insurance premiums. The Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland (MIBI ), whose principal role is to compensate victims of road traffic accidents caused by uninsured drivers, recently told an Oireachtas committee on Transport and Communications that we now have the highest level of uninsured drivers in the EU* at 8.3%. The figures recorded for 2022 show that one in every 12 private vehicles on Irish roads are uninsured, that is just under 188,000 and represents an increase of 13,626 over the previous year.

“Unfortunately, it is the law-abiding motorist that ends up paying the price for these uninsured drivers which, according to the MIBI, is between €30-€35 on each motor insurance policy. And the reality is that this levy will increase further if the number of uninsured drivers continues to rise.

“It is clear from the results of the survey that there needs to be better detection and enforcement in a bid to discourage those driving without insurance on our roads. Whilst advances in technology have made it easier for the gardai to detect motorists driving without insurance, the government needs to accelerate and approve the legislation required to allow for the Motor Third Party Liability system to be fully adopted and used by the gardai which will enable them certify that the driver is actually insured.

“Whilst the penalties for driving without insurance in Ireland include an automatic court appearance, five penalty points and a fine, time and again we read newspaper articles where the Courts have handed down fines that are less than the cost of the average motor policy. We have got to ensure that the necessary legislation is implemented without further delay to support the gardai in identifying these lawbreakers, ensure ongoing enforcement is carried out and that the judiciary hand down tougher penalties that would hopefully act as a stronger deterrent against driving without insurance," Billy Shannon, Aviva, said.


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