Dáil debates

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Civil Liability and Courts (Amendment) Bill 2021: Second Stage [Private Members]


6:25 pm

Photo of Michael CollinsMichael Collins (Cork South West, Independent) | Oireachtas source

I certainly support this legislation because we need insurance reform. It is long overdue. I was elected in 2016 to the Dáil and it is embarrassing to face my constituents time and again when they ask me what I have done about insurance. These are business people working their butts off, whether in a garage or elsewhere in west Cork. They are murdered by having to pay huge rates of insurance without any mercy. We have spoken about this time and again but nothing has changed. The young people out there trying to get car insurance are being fleeced along with older people. Everybody is being caught one way or another.

The way hard-working publicans have been treated is scandalous. They paid their insurance through the years but the insurance companies were not willing to pay when there was a genuine reason. Sometimes it looks like people must pay the bill but there is no guarantee of getting back the money. Community voluntary organisations are suffering severely. Many claims should be disputed and fought in court but they are just settled. A voluntary organisation I am involved with saw this happen some years ago when it was a disaster to pay money on the claim. It was done almost automatically and the consent of the organisation was not sought. We gave an instruction that the claim should be fought as we felt we were in the right. Voluntary groups must raise funds locally but they pay massive money for insurance. It is the same for sports organisations throughout west Cork.

We need to make changes. We cannot be talking about this year in and year out without anything happening on the group. I will certainly support this Bill.


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