Senator Maura Hopkins has again raised the spiralling costs of motor insurance which is placing a massive burden on motorists which requires government action in a number of key areas. She stated that "last week the CSO has found that motor insurance again this month jumped by almost 40% in July compared to the same time last year. Over the last three years, the average premium is up 70%, according to a deeper analysis provided by the CSO. Surging insurance premiums have seen inflation at its highest level in three years".
The Senator continued that she knows "of many people of all ages who have found it extremely difficult to pay their car insurance. Many people who live in rural areas must travel a distance to reach work and do not have the option of public transport. Therefore a car is a necessity."
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 Personal 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 and updated, would provide standard amounts for specific injuries.
Senator Hopkins also called on the "Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality to ensure that additional resources are diverted to the traffic corps to make sure that we have improved enforcement. An Garda Síochána needs to have access to a computer system where the analysis of each number plate will provide insurance details in real time. I understand work is underway in allowing Gardaí use automatic number plate recognition cameras to target uninsured drivers under the terms of a new law. We also need insurance companies to provide verified statistical analysis as to why it is very difficult to receive a quote for cars older than ten years that have passed the NCT.
Senator Hopkins 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