Figures from the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland (MIBI)* released this morning via the Irish language daily, Foinse, are yet another stark reminder of the persistent level of claims costs associated with uninsured drivers.
- In 2011, €58m was paid out to claimants, €18m of which was for hit-and-run drivers.
- These figures remain stubbornly consistent with a total aggregate payout of €300m over the last 5 years.
- Of the €58 million paid out last year, only a meagre one million euro was recovered from the offending parties
So who ultimately pays for all this?
…Well, you do
- 6% of all driver insurance premiums on average go directly in to this fund.
- 6% of all drivers are uninsured
- Ireland’s 2 million insured drivers are therefore paying an extra €30 per year on their premiums.
The actual number of claims of this type per year averages out at 2,200 per year which would imply an average claim amount of circa €2,750 (suggesting perhaps much of the claims concern material rather than bodily damage).
What is surprising is the astonishingly low rate of recouping of costs from the guilty parties. Running at only 1.7% it might suggest a more assertive approach is required. Given however that many of the claims are often relatively small, it might not make financial sense to pursue those who are by definition elusive (e.g. hit-and-run drivers) and/or have a inability to pay even when caught.
There is, nevertheless, perhaps a societal benefit to a more robust approach and last year the Irish Brokers Association called for automatic confiscation of the vehicles of offending drivers and fines of up to €2,500 and/or 6 months imprisonment.
The MIBI might also take a look at modernizing their communications strategy – not least their website which provides little or nothing in the way of updated statistical data or even press releases. In fairness, they are not unique in this regard, as we have cited others previously who are not embracing open data principles when it comes to accident and injury claims statistics.
*The MIBI is a non-profit body which is funded by motor insurance companies in Ireland in order to provide funds to compensate people who are involved in accidents caused by uninsured or hit-and-run drivers. Although not a state body, it derives legal standing from a series of ongoing signed agreements with the Government of Ireland.
Practice Link: Car Accident Claims Guide
(Carmody Moran Solicitors have particular expertise in the area of claims against uninsured drivers. If you have been involved in such an accident, contact us at 01-8272888)