Wednesday, 13 March 2019
Business Insurance: Motion [Private Members]
Michael Fitzmaurice (Roscommon-Galway, Independent)
I support the motion. We can kick Ministers all we want but we need to acknowledge that the Minister of State, Deputy D'Arcy, has brought in a few Bills to try to resolve the situation. Some Bills are being held up at the moment but the Minister of State should try to gazump the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill which will be held up for a while because of the person who is trying to bring it in.
The problem all around the country, as everyone knows, is that payouts are on one side of the equation and businesses and everyone else with insurance are on the other side. The amounts of money thrown to people are astronomical at times. People with genuine complaints have to be looked after but some of the payouts are ferocious.
On the other side are cases where someone tries to slip on a floor or whatever and the claims are crippling. In fairness to all politicians in the House, no one is against trying to make changes in the insurance sector. The Minister of State will be supported in any Bill he brings in. The quicker we do this and sort out the book of quantum and provide realistic targets and not these astronomical awards the better.
The Minister of State can correct me if I am wrong but I think there is a Bill that deals with the amount of profits insurance companies are making, even though they are crying about the weather, or whatever. If one looks at the profit that three or four of the insurance companies have made this year, it is clear that they need to be hauled in.
There is a bit of payback in all this and the insurance companies have to do their bit. We have to do it through legislation. The number of claims has to be reduced.