False insurance claims ‘need to be penalised very heavily’

An independent TD for Roscommon-Galway has slammed false insurance claims saying they “need to be penalised very heavily in this country”.

Michael Fitzmaurice made the statement today (Tuesday, November 13) in response to comments made by the Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Michael D’Arcy, regarding the potential need for a referendum to introduce a strict pricing structure for successful insurance claims in Ireland.

Deputy Fitzmaurice explained: “The reality for each and every one of us that pays insurance in this country is that our premiums have been going up on a consistent basis over the past few years.

Premiums have been on the rise because of the sometimes outrageous payments that have been issued on insurance claims.

He added that most people have been left “dumbfounded on more than one occasion” after hearing the circumstances of some insurance claims – along with the size of the payouts.

Continuing, the independent TD said: “The time has come where we must ensure that we try and bring insurance premiums down to affordable levels for business owners, homeowners and motorists.

“This can be done by making sure that the book of quantum – which I know is being revisited at the moment – is implemented fully.

“If it is not being adhered to by the judiciary, then I have no problem with making sure that there is a referendum to put a price structure in place so insurance claims do not spiral out of control.

“This might sound like a heavy-handed approach, but day in and day out we hear of people who are genuinely crippled by the escalating price of insurance.”

Deputy Fitzmaurice rued the fact that expensive insurance premiums have driven some trucking companies out of business.

“At the end of the day, you would have to question some of the claims that have been paid out in the courts.”

Concluding, he reiterated: “We need to make sure that false claims are penalised very heavily. Sometimes hard medicine has to be administered so a better future can be secured for all of our citizens.”