False insurance claims need to be penalised very heavily in this country, says Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice
The Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) recorded a 12% drop in claims from Donegal during 2019, after receiving a total of 67 claims from across the county during the course of the year. This represented 9 fewer claims than were submitted to the MIBI from Donegal in 2018, when 76 claims were made.
In their national figures, the MIBI highlighted the high level of claims relating to uninsured drivers they received during 2019, saying it underlines the importance of the new automatic number plate recognition system (ANPR). The ANPR system allows An Garda Síochána to more easily detect if a vehicle is being driven without insurance by checking the registration plate. Uninsured drivers accounted for over 70% of the total claims received by the MIBI last year.
Nationally, the overall level of MIBI claims was consistent between 2019 and the previous year. In 2019 the MIBI received 2,540 claims, down 12 from 2,552 in 2018. This represents a change of less than 0.01%.
The number of uninsured claims numbers also remained static over the two years with the MIBI receiving 1,787 claims relating to uninsured vehicles in 2019, compared to 1,788 in 2018.
The MIBI is a not for profit organisation that was established to compensate victims of road traffic accidents caused by uninsured and unidentified vehicles.
The highest number of claims were submitted from Dublin (1,172), followed by Cork (200), Limerick (137), Louth (108) and Kildare (105).
The county with the highest increase in claims was Kilkenny, which recorded a 62% jump in claims, followed by Clare (32% increase) and Longford (30% increase). The largest decrease was in Roscommon (65% reduction in claims), followed by Monaghan (down 47%) and Laois (down 40%).
Speaking about the claims figures, David Fitzgerald, Chief Executive of the MIBI said, “Looking at the figures it is clear that there has been very little change in the number of claims received by the MIBI over the course of the past two years, even though the number of claims from Donegal did decrease last year. On a national basis, it is particularly concerning that there has been no movement on the level of claims relating to uninsured vehicles, which suggests there continues to be a substantial number of uninsured vehicles driving on Irish roads.
“The MIBI hopes that the rollout of the new automatic number plate recognition system will make it easier and more simple for the Gardaí in Donegal and around the country to identify uninsured drivers. The initial phase is now in operation and that is expected to be further expanded in the coming months. This will make it very difficult for uninsured vehicles to be driven without being detected. They will then face heavy penalties. Anyone caught driving without insurance can have their vehicle seized on the spot, will face a mandatory court appearance, a heavy fine and five points on their licence.
“Uninsured driving is illegal and represents a real threat to Irish road safety. We believe the introduction of ANPR will tighten the net on uninsured drivers and will make a significant, positive impact towards Irish road safety,” Mr. Fitzgerald concluded.
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