Spiralling motor insurance premiums must be addressed – Smith

– Premiums have soared by 30% in the last year –

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has hit out at the Government for failing to tackle exorbitant motor insurance costs.  Tánaiste Joan Burton has once again refused to commit to taking any action to address rising premiums.  Fianna Fáil raised the issue during Leaders’ Questions this week but the Government is continuing to sit on the fence.

Motor insurance costs have rocketed over the past year, increasing by 30%.  And there are warnings that more price hikes are on the way.

Deputy Smith commented, “These rising costs are completely unsustainable.  In fact, motor insurance costs have increased more than any other item examined in the CSO’s basket of consumer goods.  The agency has also warned that further increases of up to 20% could be on the cards in 2016.  This is extremely bad news for motorists, who will be forced to take another hit next year. At this rate, the cost of insuring an average size family car will increase by around €300 next year.

“These huge cost burdens must be addressed but this Government appears reluctant to advocate for consumers or businesses here in Cavan and Monaghan, which are having to fork out for these dramatically increasing insurance costs.  Families and small businesses are being squeezed as a result of these high costs but no one in Government seems prepared to fight their corner.

“My party colleague and Finance spokesperson Michael McGrath has been extremely active on this issue calling for the establishment of a taskforce similar to the Motor Insurance Advisory Board (MIAB).  The recommendations from the MIAB successfully achieved a fall in insurance costs of 40 per cent in real terms between 2002 and 2013. Any new taskforce should bring together representatives of the industry, consumer advocates, the Garda Transport division and the regulator to bring forward practical proposals to reverse this very worrying trend.

“Fianna Fáil has set out a number of measures that we believe would have a positive influence on insurance premia including calling for full transparency on the profitability of the industry, improved regulation and tougher road safety measures.

“We can no longer sit back and do nothing while motor insurance costs continue to rise.  We need tangible measures that will prevent premia getting out of control and give a much needed break to families and businesses across Cavan and Monaghan”.