Offaly TD slams 'inexcusable' price of car insurance
Offaly TD Carol Nolan has described what she calls the extortionate cost of motor Insurance as "unfair" and "inexcusable."
Deputy Nolan raised the matter with the Taoiseach and highlighted the rip off and the discrimination particularly against elderly and younger drivers who own older cars with NCT but who cannot get an insurance quote. She called on the Taoiseach to take urgent action to stop this discrimination.
Despite many previous debates in the Dáil the Insurance Industry continues to avoid accountability by weaving an elaborate spectacle using smoke and mirrors, Carol claimed.
"It seems to me that when the industry cites unsubstantiated claims such as fraud or large insurance claim payouts, that this government sits on its hands and accepts their rhetoric without question.”
Nolan went on to criticise "the failure of government to put in place measures for consumers to comply with their legal obligation to hold motor insurance."
“Where the State compels the citizen by law to carry an insurance product, the State then has an obligation to directly provide an affordable solution or regulate the third parties who do so. The State is doing neither," she added.
"Where the State obliges a citizen to put vehicles through a compulsory road worthiness test such as the NCT or CVRT, and the vehicle attains the quality standard required, then it has an obligation to ensure that insurers must not treat it less favourably than any other vehicle that attains the same standard of roadworthiness."
"The insurers are the ones on one hand rewarding a driver on their driving competency and accumulated record, and on the other hand penalising that same driver on the age of their vehicle, despite that vehicle having attained the State required standard," Carol commented.
"Drivers with impeccable records returning to Ireland from abroad are being loaded for no apparent reason, even when seeking quotations for new or relatively new vehicles."
"Drivers being given wide ranging quotations based on exactly the same risk criteria without. We have reached a situation where there is absolutely no transparency whatsoever as to the metrics being used to calculate premiums and this is beyond defensible."
"One thing we do know however, is that Motor Insurance companies have earned significant profits these past two years. What also know, is that the Motor Industry is operating within the same market as other European countries, none of which has motor insurance costs similar to Ireland."
"Needless to say the impact of this outrageous lack of regulation weighs more heavily on rural dwellers than those in urban centres with public transport alternatives."
"For those who can find a means to finance their premiums, it places an unjust demand on their incomes. For those who cannot finance such penal premiums it militates against their access to work, prohibits their access to community services and significantly diminishes their quality of life," Carol said.
"Only today I was contacted about a young man who holds a full Driver’s License, was previously a ‘named driver’ on his parents’ insurance and was quoted €3,500 for a policy in his own name."
"This young man has been offered a sought-after apprenticeship but will be unable to accept it without transport," she continued.
"Despite the public anger and repeated debate in the Oireachtas, the Insurance industry is licensed by the State to operate in an entirely opaque manner. The State must either operate a mutual Insurance fund or else it must regulate the private sector to provide affordable commercial products to address this issue."
"In any case, the current rip-off of motorists can no longer be tolerated," Nolan concluded.
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