Cowen calls on government to progress laws aimed at tackling insurance fraud
Fianna Fáil TD for Offaly, Barry Cowen has said the decision made by the Oireachtas Business Committee to skip pre-legislative scrutiny for the Civil Liability and Courts (Amendment) Bill 2019, is a welcome and important step.
He explained, “By skipping pre-legislative scrutiny, the Bill can now go straight to Committee Stage in the Dáil. Given the seriousness of insurance fraud, I think this is very timely and must be progressed as quickly as possible."
“Every day, businesses across Offaly are being put under enormous pressure due to massive increases in their insurance costs. Among the main reasons for this is insurance fraud," Deputy Cowen said.
“For people perpetrating insurance fraud, there seems to be no downside or deterrent. At the moment the worst that can happen is that the case is simply thrown out. Worse still, the defendant is often stuck with large legal expenses defending themselves against a fraudulent claim."
“This is unacceptable and needs to stop. There needs to be tough penalties for those who give fraudulent evidence in court. This Fianna Fáil Bill will ensure that those who bring fraudulent claims will have to pay the legal expenses for the defendant. While it is in the remit of the courts to award legal costs, it does not necessarily mean that this happens in reality. The Bill also increases the fine that a District Court can hand out to €5,000."
“I want to see this Bill progressed as a matter of urgency and I hope that the Government will facilitate its passage through the Houses of the Oireachtas,” he concluded.