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Residents of the Lee estate in Limerick, hit by the recent flooding.
Residents of the Lee estate in Limerick, hit by the recent flooding.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Insurance levy on the horizon to help pay for flood repairs

A spokesperson for Minister Hogan said he was “expressing his frustration” with the insurance industry when he spoke about the levy in a recent interview.
Mar 18th 2014, 5:08 PM 10,430 87

Updated 5.27

INSURANCE PREMIUMS COULD be set to rise again with a one per cent levy on the cards to create a distress fund for people who cannot afford to buy flood cover.

In an interview with the Irish Independent, Minister Phil Hogan said the decision the government and the Minister for Finance can make is to put a levy on all insurance products and this money would go into a fund to help communities affected by flood and storm damage.

A spokesperson for the minister told TheJournal.ie that the minister was “expressing his frustration at the lack of momentum and lack of pace at which the insurance industry is acting for people who are not able to get funding.”

“Any decision on that would have to be a government decision and implemented by the Minister for Finance,” they added.

Responding to the news today, independent TD Mattie McGrath said there is a “stand-off going on here between the government and the insurance industry in this country and it looks as if the government is going to blink first”.

“It is simply not acceptable for all forms of insurance, from house to car insurance to suffer another additional rise because of this sectors greed and inability to compromise,” he continued.

McGrath suggested the minister make negotiating positions of all major insurance companies publicly available to “let the people see for themselves the kind of stubborn greed that has brought us to this position”.

Insurance Ireland said in a statement this evening that it was “surprised and disappointed” to hear about the proposal.

The representative body has been working with the Office of Public Works over the last 12 months on a memorandum of understanding which would see both parties sharing flood date.  It pointed out that its members have paid approximately €750 million in claims relating to nine major flood events over the last ten years.

“The increased frequency of flooding in recent years highlights the need for action to be taken now in the affected areas so that the necessary flood defences are constructed as quickly as possible,” it added.

Read: Storm repair funding announced for 11 more counties>

Read: Repair work on flooded Limerick homes ‘nearing completion’>

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Michelle Hennessy

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