Plans for Garda fraud unit funded by insurance companies "will not happen"

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Minister of State Michael D'Arcy. Photo: Damien Eagers
Minister of State Michael D'Arcy. Photo: Damien Eagers


Charlie Weston

The Garda commissioner and the minister responsible for insurance reform have defeated the insurers' plans to fund a new Garda unit responsible for handling fraud claims.

State Minister Michael D & # 39; Arcy said that the insurance industry will not fund a Garda insurance fraud unit.

He stated that he met with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to discuss the matter and agreed with the Commissioner, who was not prepared to accept that the Garda Síochána be funded by the Garda Síochána. outside of the Exchequer.

This has led the government, accused by the Alliance for Insurance Reform, to embark on a "series of perpetual feuds and pass the package" instead of advancing key insurance reforms.

Last summer, insurers agreed to collectively pay 1 million euros a year to the state to finance the new anti-fraud unit, which would be operationally independent of the insurance companies.

The proposal to create a unit dedicated to insurance fraud was recommended in the report of the government's working group on the cost of insurance.

The idea was based on the anti-insurance fraud department, run by the London City Police, funded by British insurance companies, but no operational control over it. this.

The UK anti-fraud unit has been recognized for reducing the number of fake insurance applications in this country.

But Mr. Arcy revealed that he had met with Commissioner Harris on December 13 to discuss the government's proposal to create an insurance-funded anti-fraud unit.

"The result of this discussion was that the Commissioner and the Minister of Arcy agreed that in principle, An Garda Síochána should not be funded by any source other than the Exchequer in order to fight insurance fraud, "said a spokesman for the minister. .

"The Commissioner will examine the way forward, including to establish an investigative capacity within the Garda's National Bureau of Economic Crime."

The spokesman for the minister insisted that progress was being made in insurance reform in a number of areas.

However, the Alliance for Insurance Reform and Insurance Ireland both claimed that progress had slowed.

Peter Boland, of the Alliance, said it was vital to immediately set up a unit specializing in Garda insurance fraud.

"This has been delayed because of a quarrel over who should pay – the insurance industry, who is willing to pay, or the taxpayer."

He stated that the personal injury assessment committee had generated a surplus of 17.5 million euros thanks to the fees paid over the years. This should be used to fund Garda's insurance fraud unit.

Irish independent