Insurance industry signs up to agreement aimed at tackling fraud

A Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) was signed today by representatives of Insurance Ireland, An Gardá Síochána and the Alliance for Insurance Reform.

INSURANCE IRELAND, THE group representing the insurance industry, has signed up to a new agreement with gardaí and the Government to report and investigate potential cases of fraud on a more streamlined basis.

A Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) was signed today by representatives of Insurance Ireland, An Gardá Síochána and the Alliance for Insurance Reform.

The MOU lays out a streamlined process for reporting and investigating suspected cases of insurance fraud. The Government said that the signing completes another measure in its Action Plan for Insurance Reform.

Commenting today, Junior Minister for Insurance Jennifer Carroll MacNeill said that people should “not have to absorb insurance fraud costs into their motor, home or business premiums”.

“We are determined to change the culture and practice of insurance fraud in Ireland. Today is an important step in that,” she said.

Insurance Ireland has claimed in the past that insurance fraud costs insurance companies in Ireland an estimated €200 million annually, which is then pushed onto policyholders in the form of increased premiums.

The industry has come under fire in the past from opposition TDs – most notably Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty - for not reporting more cases of insurance fraud to the gardaí.

In a statement today, the CEO of the Alliance for Insurance Reform Brian Hanley commented welcomed the signing of the MOU.

“Insurance companies have considerable resources, and it is vital that a meaningful portion of those resources go towards investigating and challenging suspect claims,” he said.

“There is little point in decrying them otherwise. Insurers often speak about the harm such claims cause and yet it is questionable how much resources they truly invest in detecting it.”

He said that the signing today “marks yet further progress in reforming the insurance landscape in Ireland, which includes the introduction of the Judicial Guidelines to replace the Book of Quantum, PIAB reforms and the recent amendments to the duty of care”.

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