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Call to get tough with uninsured drivers

Wednesday, July 30 14:04:28

Brokers today called on the Government to crack down on the estimated 150,000 people driving without insurance.

The Irish Brokers Association say that uninsured drivers in this country are costing the motorist an average of E35- E40 in extra premiums to cover the claims related to uninsured drivers and paid out by the MIBI.

According to Brian McNelis, Director of General Services at the Irish Brokers Association, "At present our current legislation, which, on one hand, makes motor insurance compulsory - on the other, pays claims, via the MIBI, on behalf of uninsured drivers. The fact is that tougher measures need to be put in place because the current process simply is not working - uninsured drivers keep re-offending, and the MIBI keeps picking up the claims tab".

The Association say that Ireland's treatment of underinsured drivers falls way below par and the Government should be looking to the UK for best practice in the area.

"In complete contrast, the UK police will immediately confiscate the vehicle and fine the uninsured driver 500 on the spot and 6 penalty points. There is not an insured concerned clause in the UK, so if there is an accident the uninsured driver is claimed off first, for any damage or injuries caused. In other words, the UK has made it a very serious offence with equally serious penalties, when they catch uninsured drivers," said Mr McNelis.

"In Ireland on the other hand, if a driver is found without an insurance disc they are allowed ten days to hand proof of their insurance in to a Garda station. Then there is a delay of a number of months to go to court. In the meantime the uninsured driver continues to drive unabated."

The IBA say that if an uninsured driver has an accident, then the MIBI treat it similarly to a properly insured motor claim and nominate an Insurer (usually the insurer who last insured the person to handle and pay the claim. Therefore, there are no consequences for the uninsured driver and they continue to re-offend.

"This costs the State in time and wasted effort, and all the motor insurance policyholders of the State have to pay an additional E35- E40 on each policy," added Mr McNelis.

According to the most recent statistics from the MIBI in 2013 there were 2388 uninsured claims (2322 in 2012) as a cost of E61m (E67 in 2012). In the same year there were circa 2.5m licensed vehicles and circa 6pc uninsured drivers.

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