This week, I called for data sharing between Gardaí and insurance companies to be prioritised, in light of reports that UK motor insurance fraudsters targeting our compensation culture.
I was horrified to hear reports that motor insurance fraudsters are travelling from the UK to stage crashes here and targeting our profitable and exploitable compensation culture.
Ireland is very attractive for these fraudsters, as awards compensation is at a significantly higher level than in other EU countries, Awards for whiplash in Ireland average €15,000 per case, compared with €5,000 in the UK and €3,000 in France and Spain.
We all know that rising insurance costs is a major problem at the moment and organised crime is playing a substantial role in spiking insurance costs for Irish consumers. The insurance industry estimates that fraud costs about €200 million a year, adding €50 to individual policies.
Unfortunately insurance fraudsters are far more likely to get away with it due to the lack of adequate data-sharing.
I know that Minister Eoghan Murphy has said that a fraud database is under consideration, which will allow insurance companies to talk to each other and to the Gardaí. I am now urging the Minister to introduce such a system as a matter of priority, to help tackle fraud and rising insurance costs.”