Fianna Fáil calls for motor insurance taskforce

The party wants to bring to light secret cash settlements and force down premiums

Fianna Fáil will table a motion in the Dáil this evening to tackle the ever-increasing cost of motor insurance and bring increased transparency to the industry

The party is calling for an motor insurance taskforce to be established to investigate the current situation.

Fianna Fáil is also demanding the creation of a new National Claims Register to force insurance companies to publish anonymised details of all of their payouts.

As much as 80% of the claims lodged the Injuries Board are now being settled outside its remit, with many secret cash settlements taking place between road accident victims and insurers.

Fianna Fáil's finance spokesman Michael McGrath told the Irish Independent:

"At the minute, there are public records on the decisions of the Injuries Board and the courts - but there is a big black hole and a deficit of information for at least 75pc of cases...

"We don't know what level of awards are being agreed so it's hard to evaluate the companies' claims in that regard."

He also criticised the fact that drivers are routinely being hit with "ridiculous hikes" of between €200 - €300 and denied that Fianna Fáil's motion was merely a "stunt" to undermine the minority Fine Gael-led government.

Insurance Ireland has blamed hikes in premiums that have seen a 35% average rise for motorists on "the spiralling cost of claims".

Minister for Finane Michael Noonan looks likely to resist the motion, as he has already initiated a review of insurance costs.

McGrath, however, has argued that an internal Department of Finance report would not go far enough.

Today's motion is expected to be supported by Sinn Féin.