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Insurance Industry figures do not stack up, Government are failing to act and the rest of us are paying the price. It is time for drastic action – Pearse Doherty TD

9 September, 2019 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has described the insurance industry as one that lacks transparency, accountability and regulation, criticising Government inaction that has failed consumers and businesses.

Speaking today, Teachta Doherty said:

“Consumers and businesses are seeing their insurance premiums rise. This is leading to many households being squeezed, and businesses across the State closing as a result of soaring public liability premiums. We have heard from industry and Government that claims and insurance fraud are the causes of extortionate insurance premiums.

“We now know that this is simply not true. It’s time for the insurance industry to come clean and for the Government to act.

“We have heard time and again that the high number of claims faced by the industry, high awards and instances of insurance fraud have forced them to increase premiums.

“But the facts tell a different story. Total awards for personal injury claims are down 28% from 2014. There were 600 less personal injury claims resolved through PIAB or the courts in 2018 compared to 2014. That is a lower frequency and size in awards for personal injury claims paid out.

“Despite lower and less claims, insurance premiums have soared with the insurance industry registering profits of €227 million in 2017, a 1300% increase in profits from the year before. Something does not add up.

“Despite the industry claiming that 20% of all claims are fraudulent, recent information I received from the Department of Justice shows that only 50 instances of insurance fraud were recorded by An Garda Síochána in the 6 months from November to June.

“It is time for drastic action to tackle an insurance crisis that is hitting household incomes and resulting in the closure of businesses throughout the State.

"The insurance industry lacks transparency, accountability and regulation, and consumers lack alternatives. Government inaction has failed since 2016, and Sinn Féin will be publishing its proposals for reform and intervention in the coming weeks.”

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