Government must address insurance industry dysfunction: Ó Murchú

 

Sinn Féin councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has secured the support of councillors on Louth County Council for his motion calling on the government to address dysfunction in the Irish Insurance industry.

Speaking following Monday’s meeting of Louth County Council, the Sinn Féin general election candidate said;

“The insurance industry in this State lacks transparency, accountability and regulation and is in urgent need of intervention. The issues affecting the insurance industry are fraudulent claims, exorbitant levels of award and the exaggeration of the incidence of bogus claims by insurance companies to justify massive hikes in premiums.

“Without urgent government intervention people will continue to be ripped off by unscrupulous providers and increasing numbers of Irish businesses will be unable to secure insurance, particularly in the leisure, entertainment & tourism sector.

“Louth County Council is also a victim of spiralling premiums. Funds which could be used for other vital services within this county must be diverted to service insurance costs.We all know the inflatable hire industry for example is facing obliteration following the decision by the industry’s only public liability insurer to withdraw from the market. The fact that only one company was providing insurance to this sector tells its own tale.

“The Irish market is just too risky and the outworking of this is that inflatable hire businesses with no claims against them risk becoming collateral damage.

“Earlier this week, the Public Participation Network released a survey which indicated that almost half of community and voluntary groups may be forced to close if insurance costs continue to rise. This is affecting Dundalk based businesses, some of which will close, resulting in job losses.

“Insurance providers have evaded scrutiny for too long. This issue must be on the government’s agenda for the upcoming term.

“While I welcome comments by Pascal Donohoe that this issue will be given government priority, we need action not words.”