2 May 2002 Edition

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Remove car insurance from private sector

Muiris Ó˙Súilleabháin, Sinn Féin candidate in South Tipperary, has reiterated his party's call to remove motor insurance from the private sector and a state motor insurance corporation to be established. This would ensure that affordable motor insurance is available every resident in the State regardless of age, sex or marital status, he said.

Speaking to a group of party election workers after the MIJAG (Motor Insurance Justice Action Group) protest in South Tipperary on Saturday 27 May last Ó˙Súilleabháin said:

"Young people are forced to pay exorbitant car insurance costs while insurance companies make their greatest profits from the 19 to 24 year old age bracket. And in South Tipperary, which has a large rural population and a poor to non-existent public transport service, this burden is keenly felt.

"I have personal experience of the problem, I'm 24 years old with a clean driving record and last year I paid £2,400 which is over €3,000 to be insured on a ten-year old 1-litre car.

"The State should take car insurance out of the private sector and establish its own Insurance Corporation modelled on existing state companies in North America and New Zealand. These companies have proved their viability and actually contribute to better road safety through involvement in every aspect of road awareness projects.

"There are other problems that must also be tackled such as better funded road safety initiatives and reforming the courts and legal system dealing with compensation claims. However, it is unacceptable that young people are being discriminated against when it comes to car insurance thereby forcing many of them to become uninsured drivers and an even bigger threat to other road users."


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