Dáil Éireann - Volume 342 - 10 May, 1983

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Motor Insurance Inquiry.

2. Mr. Flynn asked the Minister for Trade, Commerce and Tourism the action he proposes to take on foot of the recommendations of the report of the committee of inquiry into the cost and method of providing motor insurance in 1982.

Minister for Trade, Commerce and Tourism (Mr. Cluskey): As the Deputy will be aware, the Prices Advisory Committee made several recommendations in their very comprehensive report. These recommendations will require action by a number of Government Departments [593] including my own, as well as some outside agencies.

Urgent consideration is being given to the recommendations by all concerned and account is being taken of the views already submitted by interested parties. I hope to bring forward proposals to the Government as soon as possible.

I can assure the Deputy that I will do my utmost to ensure that such action on the committee's recommendations as is considered desirable by the Government will be taken as a matter of urgency.

Mr. Flynn: Is there any substance in the suggestion that there are as many as 25 per cent of motorists uninsured?

Mr. Cluskey: I have no knowledge of that.

An Ceann Comhairle: That is a separate question.

Mr. Cluskey: In my opinion that is a fairly speculative, top-of-the-head statistic.

Mr. Flynn: It is suggested that approximately £16 million is being lost because of the large number of uninsured motorists on our roads and that that money has to be taken up by those who are paying their way. If that money could be collected it would mean a considerable reduction in insurance costs for people who are prepared to insure. Is the Minister taking any steps to get these uninsured drivers off our roads? This is a national scandal.

Mr. Cluskey: As the Deputy is aware, the law with regard to car insurance is in force and it is not awaiting the outcome of these recommendations to make it obligatory for people to insure motor vehicles.

Mr. G. Mitchell: Is the Minister aware that many potential insurers are being asked to pay more for car insurance than they are for rent or repayments on their houses? This disproportionate expense is a disincentive for these people to insure. Would the Minister show his concern [594] including in the review younger drivers who are being discouraged from insuring their cars?

An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy must confine his comments to the question.

Mr. Cluskey: I have indicated in my reply that the views of all interested parties will be taken into consideration when a decision is being taken by the Government in the matter.