The cost of car insurance can only be brought under control if fraud is tackled and data is shared more effectively, according to insurer Liberty. Liberty is set to unveil a series of proposals which, it believes, can help reform the car insurance market.

Deirdre Ashe, director of personal lines at Liberty Insurance, said the company is highly committed and engaged with the Cost of Insurance Working Group and the 88 actions that group is pursuing. She said Liberty is now keen to facilitate further on those actions and is shining a light on two aspects of the problem - fraud and increased data sharing. 

Ms Ashe said the company is looking for more rigid enforcement of existing legislation on the prosecution of insurance fraud, adding that no actual legislative change is needed to do this. Liberty is seeking a dedicated Garda insurance fraud unit, she added. At the moment, a regionalised system is in place where an insurance company contacts the local superintendent and share a case and a decision is then taken as to whether it will  be pursued or not. But Liberty wants this process centralised and with more oversight. 

Liberty is also suggesting enhanced training for judges to ensure greater consistency in the level of personal injuries compensation awarded. Ms Ashe said this is something other countries have applied and it would have merits here. 

According to Deirdre Ashe, the company is also seeking the setting up of a national fraud database, which would be specific for the purposes of sharing fraud experiences across the industry and important for all insurers in the Irish market to access. Ms Ashe said that fraud in the industry is costing €200m a year, with fraud putting a minimum of €50 extra on insurance policies. All of the insurance companies are investing in both technology and resources to try and prevent fraud, but Ms Ashe said the main thing they have to do is to share the data and experience, which will give visibility of where fraud is occurring across the market. 


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