01 Oct 2022

Garda Commissioner reveals popular car insurance scam during Laois visit

Garda Commissioner reveals popular car insurance scam during Laois visit

A popular car insurance scam has been described by the Garda Commissioner for the State, speaking at a Laois policing meeting.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris was at the Joint Policing Committee quarterly meeting for Laois held online this week.

He outlined the scam used by drivers to avoid criminal charges by Gardaí.

“One of the great scams is taking out insurance and then cancelling it after six weeks. But they still have an insurance certificate to show.” 

However he said that a new mobile phone app launched to Gardaí is helping with detections. 

“Since its launch it’s had two million transactions, either looking up drivers, or allowing an automatic fixed charge notice. To date 131,000 mobile fixed charge notices have been issued by the mobile app. They are taking over from the paper process, there’s a lot of efficiency in it for us,” he said.

Their mobile technology can also now scan vehicle licence plates on the spot to check if tax and insurance are in place. 

“But that depends on insurance companies letting us know when insurance lapses,” the commissioner said.

“We do see insurance fraud, but with the new electronic system we can identify patterns where some individuals are in a series of accidents where one car shunts another, sometimes six, seven or more times,” he said. 

The meeting was attended by all three Laois TDs and by county councillors and community representatives.

Laois TD Sean Fleming is Minister of State at the Department of Finance highlighted the amount of people driving without insurance to the Commissioner.

“As we sit here, there are 165,000 uninsured drivers on the roads of Ireland. That’s 7% that either have no insurance, or the person driving is not insured in that vehicle. I know you’re improving technology to pick up on this. Those 7%, someone has to pay and people are paying an average €30 per annum extra to cover this,” Minister Fleming said.

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