Regional Group Bill to Tackle Insurance Fraud – Tóibín
Speaking in the Dáil today at Second Stage of the Civil Liability and Courts BILL 2021 Aontú Leader Peadar Tóibín TD stated;
I am delighted to speak in favour of the Regional Groups’ Civil Liability and Courts BILL 2021. So far in this Dail myself and my Colleagues in the Regional Group have chosen to prioritise Insurance Reform.
Outside of Covid, Insurance dysfunction and costs have proven to be one of the biggest threats to economic welfare of families, home owners, drivers and of many many small businesses.
This dysfunction has not happened by accident. It’s a result of a closeted market where there is little or no competition. There is profiteering, there is gouging and it is the opposite to decent business practices that normally incentivises loyalty.
The Insurance sector that has been protected by governments for years, with many Government’s have dragged their feat and refused to reform. This dysfunction has wreaked massive damage throughout society. Business are being wiped out. People have told me that their insurance has increased from €2,000 to €15,000 and even in one case from €50,000 to €130,000. That’s IF they can get Insurance.
Drivers have been gouged. The more loyal you are to a particular company the more likely you are to get stuffed. Their pricing models have acted as taxes on older people who may not have the facilities to shop around. Even children’s sports, Irish dancing classes and festivals have come under pressure for the lack of affordable insurance.
There are currently two investigations into this dysfunctional market. An investigation by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has found that five insurance companies, an insurance industry trade association and an insurance broker allegedly engaged in anti-competitive co-operation.
This investigation parallels a European Commission investigation into the Irish insurance sector which saw numerous premises subject to unannounced dawn-raids in 2017
This Bill and the other work that has been done by the Regional Group seeks to reform the sector and protect the consumer. We in Aontú have worked with the Alliance for Insurance reform organising public meetings in Meath to raise the profile of this critical issue
The purpose of the Bill is to increase the penalties for those found guilty of an offence under section 26 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 which deals with fraudulent actions. People should not be able to bring fraudulent cases to court and get away scot free. There must be a cost to fraud.
Earlier in this Dáil we in the Regional Group used our Private Members Bill time to tackle Perjury in Court. We sought to make it illegal and punishable.
The fact that it isn’t is incredible.
I urge the government to accept this Bill and to go further, I believe that we need a Garda Insurance Fraud Unit. I believe that we need to redefine and re-balance the “common duty of care” to require the occupier to have a duty of care that is reasonable, practical and proportionate. We need to reform of PAIB, We need to ban dual pricing. And we need to make Insurance more competitive.