Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins has welcomed the announcement of a new Garda unit which will be tasked with investigating insurance fraud.

Senator Hopkins stated, “The announcement of this new unit is very positive and I am hopeful that it will ease the pressure on insurance premiums for motorists and businesses who have been most effected by premium hikes in recent years.”

“This new insurance fraud unit will be financially supported by the insurance industry and will consist of up to 15 members of An Garda Síochána initially.”

Senator Hopkins continued, “Over the past number of years, motorists have been subjected to premium increases of up to 70% over the past few years. The alliance for insurance reform has also strongly highlighted the huge hikes in public liability insurance for businesses.”

“Fraud continues to be a major issue within the sector and is estimated to amount to €200 Million a year which amounts to almost €50 for every insurance premium. Suspected cases of fraud can be referred to this new unit for investigation and I would call on insurers to actively engage with this new unit to ensure that fraud in the sector can be effectively tackled.”

Senator Hopkins concluded, “I continue to work closely with Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Michael D’arcy T.D. who chairs the cost of insurance working group. I now want to see further progress on other issues including the difficulties that are being faced by motorists with older cars in securing insurance.”