Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín, Meath West TD, has reiterated his call for reform of the insurance sector. Teachta Tóibín was responding to news that the now annual Dublin Oktoberfest event has been cancelled due to insurance costs
Teachta Tóibín stated:
“The cancellation of the Oktoberfest event illustrates the need for reform of the Irish insurance sector. If the status quo in the insurance sector remains, it is very likely that other events will be cancelled in the short and medium-term future. The general public will suffer as a result of a dysfunctional sector and oversight of the industry.
“Insurance premiums have spiralled out of control in this state and a contributing factor to this is compensation culture which is becoming endemic. Axa Insurance’s CEO and Allianz Insurance’s CEO have expressed the belief that 20% of personal injury cases had signals for fraud investigations.
“Yet, despite the insurance industry’s attributing of blame for premium hikes on fraudulent claims, the industry has only reported a tiny fraction of suspected fraudulent claims to the Gardaí. FBD CEO, Fiona Muldoon said that gardaí ‘would not thank us’ if insurance companies brought each suspected fraudulent claim to Garda attention. Clearly there is scope here for developing a specialised unit within the Gardaí whereby suspect claims and fraudulent claimants can be scrutinised.
“As it stands, the system in Ireland incentivises claimants and the legal industry but there is little incentive for the insurance industry to challenge the claimants, even when they are fraudulent, with only 6% of cases going to court.
“Why has the government not set up an Insurance Fraud Squad? Why do we have a system where only a tiny minority of claims make it to court? Events are being cancelled, businesses are shutting down and people’s quality of life is being negatively affected. People and families are seriously struggling. Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil inaction on insurance is serving no-one but the industry itself as well as select government representatives, as recent scandals have revealed.”