[Sinn Fein]

23rd April 2002

Govt challenged to answer SF call for state car insurance company

The Sinn Fein candidate for Dublin South-West, Councillor Seán Crowe, has called on the Government to respond to a Sinn Fein proposal for a State-backed insurance corporation to make car insurance affordable to everyone, whatever their age, sex or marital status. Similar schemes already exist in the United States and New Zealand.

Cllr Crowe said that the commercial insurance companies are using what he called ``their privileged position to fleece car drivers''. The Sinn Fein councillor said:

``The proposal from my Dublin South Central party colleague, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, has merit and it deserves a response from the Government.

``The insurance industry is using its privileged position to fleece drivers.

``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.

``In setting premiums they do not discriminate on the basis of age, sex or marital status, and teenage children can be added to their parents insurance normally at no extra cost. They also offer extra discounts for senior citizens with clean driving records.

``It is unacceptable that young people are being discriminated against when it comes to car insurance, a policy that is forcing many of them to become uninsured drivers and an even bigger risk to other road users.''

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