Fianna Fáil has brought forward a Dáil motion this week which aims to drive down the cost of motor insurance. Over the past two years motorists have seen their premiums rise by a massive 60 per cent — placing a huge burden on family budgets.
Mayo TD Dara Calleary commented: “Motor insurance is one of the fastest rising costs being experienced by personal and business customers alike. And because it is a compulsory cost for motorists, they are bearing the brunt of these extortionate price hikes. I am hearing stories every day from people who are seeing their premiums jumping by hundreds of euros and they are extremely worried about being able to afford the cost.
“Businesses are also being affected. Substantial price hikes are heaping financial pressure onto small and medium businesses, and in some cases are forcing them to consider their future. One taxi firm saw its motor insurance costs shoot up from €7,000 in 2013 to €56,000, despite having an 11 year no claims bonus. These spiralling premiums are making it unsustainable for smaller companies which depend on a fleet to keep going and could force them out of business.
“Fianna Fáil believes there is an obligation on the State to tackle these soaring costs. We want to see the re-establishment of the Motor Insurance Advisory Board to examine all the relevant issues that impact on insurance premiums. The information that is currently available is vague and forces customers to fork out these extortionate prices. Action is also needed to combat false claims. These bogus pay-outs push up the cost of insurance across the board and people who make these claims must be properly penalised.
“A motor insurance database could compile information from insurance companies about premiums and claims settlements. This would increase transparency in the industry without breaching commercial confidentiality. This suite of measures has the potential to open up the insurance industry to ensure that private and commercial customers get a fair deal. The price hikes that we have seen over recent years are simply unsustainable and need to be addressed as a matter of urgency.”