Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon/Galway Eugene Murphy says the government must take urgent action to tackle exorbitant motor insurance costs as the situation is reaching epidemic levels and leaving motorists in rural Ireland unable to keep a car on the road.
“Over the past number of years consumers have been hit with massive hikes in their motor insurance premiums –CSO figures recently revealed that the annual rate of increase in motor insurance hit a record 35.5% in May of this year and it is only going in an upward direction. I have been inundated with calls to my constituency office with angry and frustrated motorists who have witnessed a 30 to 40% increase in insurance costs. Many people are already struggling to keep their heads above water, pay a mortgage, meet childcare costs and pay bills while putting food on the table and these increases in insurance costs only puts extra pressure on families already struggling to make ends meet.
“This is an issue of particular concern in rural counties like Roscommon and Galway where the public transport system is not on a par with urban centres and people living in rural counties rely on their car to bring their children to school, get to work or to do their shopping in the nearest town. Young motorists are under particular pressure and they are being priced out of the market with ridiculous quotes for car insurance,” said Deputy Murphy.
“I was recently contacted by a constituent whose car insurance has gone up by 30% from 560 euro in 2015 to 790 euro in 2016 and this is a person with no claims and a ten year old car which is valued at around 2,000 euro. As this man pointed out he received 5 euro back per week in his salary with the USC cuts but he is now faced with rising car insurance costs as well as the crippling cost of family health insurance. This man has no fear of anyone coming in robbing his house through the front door when they can just do it through his letter box!” said Deputy Murphy.
A Fianna Fáil motion, was passed earlier in June which called for the introduction of practical measures such as; the re-establishment of the Motor Insurance Advisory Board on a time limited basis; greater disclosure around policy renewal notifications; action on the settlement of cases and dealing with false and exaggerated claims.
“The passing of this motion was the first step in a process, which will hopefully clamp down on soaring motor insurance premiums, the Government must now take action to tackle motor insurance rip-off. The Government must act without delay. A credible, transparent system which guarantees a fair deal for personal and business customers must be brought forward”, explained Deputy Murphy.
“The amount paid out in claims in 2014 was 36% less than the amount paid out in 2011. Therefore these figures do not substantiate the assertion by the industry that motor insurance claims are the main reason behind rocketing premiums. This makes it all the more important that the actions set out in an agreed Dáil motion on motor insurance, initiated by Fianna Fáil, are implemented by this Government without further delay. It is not acceptable for the Government to agree to the passage of a Dáil motion and then do nothing to implement it,” concluded Deputy Murphy.