"Great concern" facing the urgency of insurance reform


Update: 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.