17% jump in uninsured drivers is very worrying and requires action – Hopkins

-   Senator Maura Hopkins

Fine Gael Roscommon Galway Senator, Maura Hopkins, has described as worrying the news that the number of motor insurance claims relating to uninsured or untraced drivers has risen 17% nationally, to 1,644 claims to date this year.

“Since my election to the Seanad I have been highlighting the issue of spiralling motor insurance costs, something that disproportionally affects young people.

“The news that the number of motor insurance claims relating to uninsured or untraced drivers has risen 17% nationally, to 1,644 claims to date this year, is extremely frustrating for drivers who have already been faced with inflated premium renewal costs this year.

“CSO figures show that motor insurance costs have risen by 40% over the past year. The fact that uninsured drivers are contributing to this increase is unacceptable”.*

According to the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland, the industry pays out €60 million per year on average to deal with claims against uninsured drivers; this accounts for an estimated €35 extra on the premium of every driver in the country.

“It was confirmed to me in the Seanad that the Minister for Finance has instructed his official to undertake a review of motor insurance costs in this country, and I look forward to examining their report, which I understand is due in October.

“In the meantime we must work to tackle this problem of uninsured drivers, which is clearly exacerbating the rising motor insurance costs. I have called on the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality to ensure that additional resources are diverted to the traffic corps to make sure that we have improved enforcement in relation to uninsured drivers.

“Work is underway to allow An Garda Síochána to use automatic number plate recognition cameras to target uninsured drivers.  It is critical that this system comes into operation as quickly as possible and that insurance companies are obliged to provide the necessary up to date insurance details.

“Drivers who choose to forgo insurance are not only breaking the law but are also directly penalising all other motorists, this is simply unacceptable and I will work with the relevant Ministers and agencies to ensure evaders are prosecuted and insurance premiums are reduced.”

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