Fraudulent insurance claims "the scourge" of the legal profession is declared by the former president of the Bar


Update: The former president of the Law Society said that fraudulent insurance claims were "the scourge" of the legal profession.

"Fraudulent claims are the scourge of the legal profession. The scourge of true plaintiffs, the last thing any lawyer wants is to get involved in a fraudulent claim, they destroy the reputation, they are a waste of time and money and they ruin it for honest demands. " said Stuart Gilhooly at Today with Miriam

He also rejected the claim of the insurance industry that a reduction in premiums would lead to a reduction in insurance premiums.

"It is assumed that lower premiums will result in lower premiums. There are comparisons with the UK, but in the UK premiums are higher despite lower premiums. Between 2010 and 2015, UK premiums were 24% higher than in Ireland. "

However, Kevin Thompson, CEO of Insurance Ireland, said that in 2016, the insurance industry had paid out 2.1 billion euros in claims.

"The majority of these applicants are honest, but there is a propensity for fraudulent activities, the amount of compensation does not help us. As long as we do not deal with it and we will not decide, as a corporation, that we are prepared to bear the costs associated with the amount of these awards, the insurance costs will be the same as they are now. "

He said Ireland Insurance had diagnosed the problem, namely the pace of reform. The Auto Insurance Advisory Committee's recommendations in 2000 revealed "a natural reduction in premiums.

"Unfortunately, at that time, we saw the legal profession adopt 30 legal challenges to the ongoing reform. When we see significant reforms put in place in the past, we can see reductions in the cost of insurance. "

However, Mr. Gilhooly said the fact that premiums have dropped 22% from the top shows that claims can not be a problem because the damage has not been significantly reduced since This time.

I think the damage is not the main driver, they have never been. It's cyclical. Insurance premiums are cyclical, they have always been, there are ups and downs.

Mr. Thompson said that the insurance industry can only control "a few things, we have controlled our costs. What we can not control is the cost of claims.

"The years before 2016 on the single car book, the industry suffered a loss of 800 million euros, which represents a huge profit, gradually recovering a profit now," he said.

"All we want is to be in a viable and sustainable game until volatility disappears." Until significant reforms are made to the cost of claims, this does not happen. will not happen, it is not in the insurance industry to decide what level of rewards will be.

"Nothing will change – the majority of applicants are honest, unless you consider the cost of applications, you will not face the consequences."

Peter Boland, director of the Alliance for Insurance Reform, said the government's response to this problem was very frustrating. He added that 17 million euros were in the accounts of the personal injury assessment committee, which could be used to fund the fraud unit proposed by Garda Insurance.

"The government's policy is to put this unit in place. All the quarrel over financing is a parallel show, it's a distraction.

"In reality, there are 17 million euros in the accounts of the personal injury assessment board – this money comes from the insurance takers who had to defend themselves, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Finance. Is about to take control, this money would be used to finance Garda Unit insurance fraud.

No debate on this is necessary, it could happen tomorrow if the political will was present. It is time for the legal profession to put an end to this, their reputation is at stake at this stage.

"What we want from the insurance sector – we have not seen any signs of cuts that we would see in these reforms. This is absolutely essential for people to oppose the reforms. He is moving forward with no turtle, the political will is not there.

"If the insurance industry gave some idea of ​​the kind of reduction we could see on our premiums, then you would see that it would be much easier for the government to accept that."

Update – 9:30 am: "No lagging behind" in insurance sector reform, says minister

Minister of State Michael D'Arcy said the insurance industry would not fund a fraud unit at Garda Insurance.

Morning Ireland, RTE, told RTE that he had met Garda Commissioner Drew Harris and that he agreed with RTE who was not prepared to accept Garda Siochana as being funded by a source outside the Exchequer.

Mr. D'Arcy responded to comments from Insurance Ireland CEO Kevin Thompson, who was concerned about delays and "lack of urgency" in implementing key industry reforms to reduce claims costs .

Insurance Ireland stated that the promised reform was incomplete and that inaction was expensive for policyholders.

Mr. D'Arcy explained that the delay in the drafting of the bill on the board of assessment of bodily injuries and the legislation relating to the establishment of a council of the judiciary was due to a filibuster which had taken several months in Oireachtas.

"We had hoped that the bill would have been passed by the Oireachtas in 2018, but there has been systematic obstruction – it's a consequence – other laws are to the train."

In the meantime, he hopes to reinstate a Provisional Judiciary Council, which would lead to the "recalibration of the Book of Quantum" (which determines the awards).

There is no dragging foot. The government is fully aware of the impact of costly insurance on businesses and individuals.

He pointed out that 45 pieces of Brexit legislation may have to be passed in the coming weeks, which would mean that other bills would not be passed through the Oireachtas.

"That's why I want to restore the Judicial Council. We have been working on it for two years.

Previously: "Great worry" about lack of urgency for insurance reform

The CEO of Insurance Ireland has expressed "great concern" at the lack of urgency in implementing key reforms to reduce claims costs.

Kevin Thompson of RTE told RTE's Morning Ireland that the lack of a firm timetable for the establishment of a Judicial Council and the development of guidelines for the award of compensation meant that Ireland was receiving benefits 4.4 times higher than those in the United Kingdom.

The slowness of passing the bill on the commission of bodily injury assessment is also a concern, he said.

Key reforms are not addressed.

Mr. Thompson said the progress was too slow and Insurance Ireland suggested that in the absence of a judicial council, an emergency mechanism allowing the judiciary to supplement New guidelines in compensation should be put in place to help reduce costs.

He also warned that the level of allowances granted by Ireland encouraged people to submit fraudulent claims and that this issue needed urgent attention.

It takes more deterrence in the justice system, he said.

Garda's anti-fraud unit is one way to address this problem, added Thompson. Insurance Ireland had examined such a system in London that worked well in this country.

The Irish insurance industry is happy to support and fund such a unit that would be totally independent and distinct in terms of control, he said.