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Government must stop dragging its feet on rip-off motor insurance – Mitchell

17 May, 2017 - by Denise Mitchell TD

Sinn Féin Dublin Bay North TD Denise Mitchell hit out at rip-off motor insurance costs which are resulting in a significant drop in the numbers of young drivers in recent years and having a huge financial impact on ordinary citizens.

Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy Mitchell said:

“Insurance companies would have us believe that fraudsters, excessive court settlements, and the costs associated with the legal profession are the sole reasons behind the huge increases in motor insurance.  Basically, they want to blame their customers.

“If we scratch the surface, we can see that far from being solely the fault of others; it was the investment policies of many of these insurance companies faring far worse than expected, during a time of low-interest rates that resulted in worse-than-expected returns.”

Deputy Mitchell accused insurance companies of “heaping extra costs onto drivers; most of whom have clean driving records and have never had a claim in their lives”.

“We've seen a huge drop in the number of people holding learner permits over the last decade. And part of that is certainly because young people see no point in learning to drive as the costs are so ridiculously high,” she said.

She outlined how people who have returned home from working abroad for a year or two are disproportionately affected, with some facing insurance costs four times what they were paying previously.

“We need urgent action on this. The Government needs to stop dragging its feet; it needs to complete the action points in the Report of the Cost of Motor Insurance – which was supposed to be done two months ago – and it needs to ensure the Central Bank enforces proper legislation on the industry.” 

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