Government accepts Opposition motion calling for motor insurance costs to be tackled

The motion calls for a taskforce to look at why insurance premiums have risen by hundreds of euro

The Government has avoided another Dáil defeat by accepting an Opposition motion calling for motor insurance costs to be tackled.

The Fianna Fáil motion calls for a taskforce to look at why insurance premiums have risen by hundreds of euro in the past two years.

During the debate, Independent TD Mattie McGrath compared insurance companies to terrorists, accusing them of "naked hijacking"

And the Tipperary TD suggested scrapping motor insurance in favour of a pay-by-use levy on fuel:

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."

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