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Thursday 26 April 2018

Capital responsible for 41pc of all claims by uninsured drivers

The MIBI received 2,758 claims (stock photo)
The MIBI received 2,758 claims (stock photo)

Almost 3,000 car insurance claims last year involved drivers who weren't covered.

The number of uninsured drivers making claims has remained more or less level - with 41pc of all applications coming from Dublin.

Last year, 2,758 claims were received by the Motor Insurers' Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) and 1,140 of these came from Dublin.

This represented a 2pc decrease on 2016, when 2,802 claims were made. However, 2016 had seen a jump of 242 more claims than in 2015.

"In 2016 we witnessed a significant step up in the number of claims the MIBI receives and that number of claims was more or less sustained in 2017," MIBI chief executive David Fitzgerald said.

"There are a number of factors behind this change, including the number of uninsured drivers operating on Irish roads.

"We have outlined our determination to tackle fraudulent claims and estimate one in eight of all claims we receive are suspicious.

"As we detailed in our Fighting Fraud strategy, we are now making it much more difficult for claims of this type to succeed and we believe this more aggressive approach will lead to the decline in bogus claims over time, reducing the overall number of claims received in future."

Cork was home to the second-highest number of claims, with 212 in 2017. However, statistics showed a downturn in the city in the past three years.

Records show that 243 uninsured motorists in Cork made applications in 2016, and 213 in 2015. Limerick accounted for the third-highest quantity, with 156 applications submitted in 2017, 152 in 2016 and 155 in 2015.

In 2016, there were more than 151,000 uninsured private vehicles in Ireland, but MIBI warned that motorists flouting the law have a high risk of being caught and that the penalties are severe.

Penalty

These include up to a €5,000 fine, five penalty points and potentially a prison sentence of up to six months.

The MIBI is working with gardai and the motor insurance industry to develop preventative measures.

While the national claim figures were broadly similar between 2016 and 2017, some significant regional variations did arise on a proportional basis.

Leitrim had the highest percentage increase in the number of claims (70pc), followed by Roscommon (60pc), Carlow (43pc) and Monaghan (42pc).

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