11 August 2016
By Elaine Murphy
Sinn Féin’s Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has said that the latest CSO figures showing a 38% increase in 12 months for car insurance show that the industry’s excuses “don’t add up”.
Deputy Ó Laoghaire said:
“These latest shocking figures reflect what I and my colleagues have been hearing on the ground. This is a serious economic and social issue with far reaching consequences for motorists, workers businesses, and rural Ireland in particular.
“I am deeply concerned at the move by some insurers to simply no longer quote drivers at first and then after an appeal to quote outrageous figures for simple renewals. Despite the industry spin, Sinn Féin has shown that their excuses don’t add up. This 38% hike is not down to insurance fraud, higher claims or any other excuse.
“Some categories of motorists have been particularly badly affected, including young people, people over 65, and people who are returning from emigration, who are all being quoted prohibitive premiums, effectively telling them that they do not want their business.
“In many cases this means the young and returning emigrants are being hamstrung in trying to find work.
“The root cause of this increase is an industry which until now has survived on an unsustainable model of relying in investments to cover other losses. In an age of zero rate returns this model is failing. With interest rates so low across Europe insurance companies are instead penalising drivers, whose record has not changed, with massive unjustifiable increases.
“Today’s figures also show that health and house insurance has increased substantially. It is of concern that the wider industry and not just car insurance is going in the direction of big increases.
“The Department of Finance group looking at these issues only met once before taking a break for the summer. It must reconvene as soon as possible to deal with this issue.”