Senator Maura Hopkins raised the spiralling costs of motor insurance which is placing a massive burden on motorists in the Seanad this week.
She stated that "earlier this week the CSO has found that motor insurance jumped by 38.6% in June compared to the same time last year".
The Senator continued that she knows "of many people of all ages who have found it extremely difficult to pay their car insurance. It is an issue that disproportionately affects rural areas. Many people who live in rural areas must travel a distance to reach work and do not have the option of public transport. The only mode of transport available to them is the car."
"I know of individuals having been quoted in excess of €3,000 for their annual premium. This is scandalous and it does not make work pay. This issue is also crippling businesses because they are finding it extremely difficult to keep lorries, buses and vans on the road due to the high cost of insurance."
"The issue needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible because it has had a major impact on overhead costs. If the Government is committed to revitalising rural towns and villages and achieving its target of creating 135,000 jobs outside of Dublin, then it is critical that we tackle the issue of motor insurance."
Among the issues she raised in the Seanad, Senator Hopkins stated that "dealing with accident claims through the courts system has proved to be very expensive because the costs have been passed on to the consumer in the form of higher insurance premia. At present, it is far too easy to bypass the Injuries Board. Mechanisms need to be put in place to ensure that the board is fit for purpose and that it limits the number of claims that end up in the courts system. The book of quantum, if used more extensively, would provide standard amounts for specific injuries.
She said that she "is fully aware that the Minister for Finance has set up a task force to examine the issue and undertake a review of policy in the insurance sector. It is important that this report and the recommendations be made available and actioned without delay."
Minister of State at the Department of Finance Eoghan Murphy responded to the Senator's concerns stating it is likely that the report will be published by the end of October and that the high cost of insurance is a major concern for government.