The Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) recorded an increase in claims involving uninsured or untraced vehicles in Laois during the first 7 months of the year.
In total 27 claims were recorded between the start of January and the end of July 2018, 8 up on the same period in 2017. This represented an increase of 42% year on year.
The MIBI is a non-profit organisation established to provide compensation to victims of accidents involving uninsured or untraced vehicles.
Despite the increase for Laois, nationally the MIBI has recorded an 8 percent decline in claims, with 144 fewer claims being made by the end of July this year when compared to the same period in 2017.
The impact of the MIBI’s anti-fraud strategy has been credited with helping to reduce the number of claims throughout the country. This follows the 2017 introduction of a comprehensive plan by the MIBI to make it as difficult as possible for fraudulent claims to succeed.
The strategy included measures to put the full weight of the MIBI’s internal and external resources behind investigating suspicious claims, working hand in hand with the Gardaí to look into these cases as well as legally contesting such claims and bringing them to trial to be scrutinised by the full power of the courts.
In the first 7 months of the year, the MIBI has received fewer claims from 18 of the 26 counties.
The largest drop in number of claims came from Louth with 34 fewer received by the end of July, followed by Dublin (drop of 33) and Kildare (drop of 17). The largest percentage drop was in Roscommon which had a 41% reduction, followed by Louth (-40%), Leitrim (-38%) and Cavan (-34%).
Speaking about the figures, Chief Executive of the MIBI, David Fitzgerald said, “It is positive to see that the number of claims from around the country is starting to reduce. Admittedly these figures represent only a snapshot in time and some of the county by county numbers are too small to draw any significant conclusions from. Some counties, such as Laois, recorded an increase. However, considering these statistics cover over half a year’s worth of data, they are a useful barometer of the general MIBI claims’ environment and this shows a noteworthy drop in the total number of claims.
“Taking a more detailed look at the claims received, we do believe a significant portion of this decrease is because of the increased scrutiny we are placing on fraudulent claims. According to our handlers, since we adopted our ‘Fighting Fraud’ strategy, which involves a zero tolerance approach to fraud, there has been a noticeable decrease in the number of claims where the evidence does not back up the case.
“Fraudsters are starting to get the message that if they want to make a fictional claim to the MIBI then they will have to be prepared to have that claim put through microscopic examination. Any such claims from Laois or any other part of the country will be thoroughly investigated by the MIBI working in co-operation with the Gardaí. If the evidence still doesn’t add up, they will be brought before the courts. The days of easy settlements for nonsense claims are over.
“The MIBI would like to make it clear that those who have a real claim have nothing to worry about. The MIBI has always been a pro-victims organisation and when the claim is real and justified we support the claimant.
“We want to ensure that malicious individuals who make the roads more dangerous by staging fake accidents find it harder and harder to succeed. That is in the interests of everyone using the roads in Laois or anywhere in Ireland and it is a strategy we are committed to,” Mr. Fitzgerald said.