The cost of insurance keeps rising rapidly across Ireland and in the motor sector in particular costs are very high, especially for younger drivers or riders. Some companies have left the Irish market completely and one of the reasons for that is Brexit. Only joking, it’s nothing to do with that, rather the lax attitude to insurance fraud in Ireland and the endless dithering by the government when it comes to dealing with the problem.
The Irish Independent reports today that once again the proposals to crack down on fraudulent insurance claims, and try to bring down premiums, has been lost in the political house of cards game that continues to play itself out, as another election looms on the horizon.
The plan to set up a dedicated Garda insurance fraud unit – funded by the insurance companies by the way – has been delayed once more. No firm date for its inception. A deadline for the setting up of a nationwide insurance claims database, so that brokers and underwriting companies can check the previous claims history of proposers quickly and easily, has been missed.
The common sense idea that policyholders should be told immediately if someone makes a claim against their policy, has also been shelved. Astonishing.
Is there any good news for Ireland’s cash-strapped motorists? Only that work on an uninsured drivers database is `well advanced’ according to the update on the government Working Party website.
INSURANCE-EDGE COMMENT – LITTLE CHANCE OF REAL CHANGE
There is the strong possibility of an election later in 2018, as the two main parties continue to argue over budgets and government spending/borrowing. Ireland owes about 42,000 euro for every single person in the nation, or about 200 billion euros in total, which equals about 73% of its GDP. Post Offices are closing at a rapid rate, buses are vanishing from the roads as bus companies make cutbacks. Food and fuel prices are about 15% higher in Ireland than in the UK. Recent arguments over a Confidence and Supply arrangement between the two main political parties have exposed the uneasy truce between them and it’s an evens bet that something will trigger a general election
There is also an Irish Presidental election due in October, the temptation for politicians in Ireland is to focus on their own interests first, rather than resolve the two-year old problem of insurance reform. It seems that any chance of real change in the Irish insurance market has been kicked a long way down the road.
But in the end, the heart of the matter is the culture within Ireland. To sum up, look at the number of prosecutions in the last 14 years, since the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 made it a specific offence to `exaggerate, invent or feign injuries’ after an accident;
That’s right, none whatsoever. Until Ireland can face up to the reality that insurance fraud isn’t some kind of Lotto, where there are no consequences for trying it on, nothing will change. Except that law-abiding drivers will see premiums continue to soar.