Uninsured motorists load €40 on to cost of premiums
UNINSURED drivers are costing honest drivers around €40 each every year.
The revelation comes as a new survey shows that one-in-three drivers have never been stopped by a garda.
There are some 100,000 uninsured drivers on the roads who cost law-abiding motorists about €60m a year, the Irish Independent has learned.
The head of the company that compensates the victims of drivers who have no insurance said yesterday that around 5pc of motorists drive illegally without insurance.
John Casey of the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) warned that those flouting the law on insurance would be pursued through the courts if they caused an accident.
He said his company paid out around €62m in 2008 to people involved in accidents with uninsured drivers.
Figures for last year have not been audited yet but are expected to show a rise in the cost of claims.
Mr Casey said the number of claims had been rising over the past few years.
He estimated that claims involving uninsured drivers are loading €40 per premium on honest drivers every year.
The MIBI is responsible for compensating victims of accidents caused by uninsured and unidentified vehicles.
All insurers pay into it -- a cost borne by honest motorists.
The MIBI is allowed to pursue the uninsured driver for damages. This is separate to any criminal proceedings that may be taken.
Director of policy at AA Ireland Conor Faughnan said some people were not insured due to an oversight but larger numbers were wilfully ignoring the fact that they were required by law to have motor cover.
He said the average motor policy was around €550, but up to €44 of this was made up of the cost of covering uninsured drivers.
Mr Faughnan said uninsured cars and motors statistically tended to be higher risk as the cars were often stolen or the car was unregistered or had no National Car Test.
He called for more roadside checks by the gardai.
A new survey by AA Ireland has found that a third of all drivers have never been stopped by a garda for any reason.
The poll, which was conducted among 11,000 motorists, also found that four out of 10 drivers never had to show their driving licence to a garda, and this was most likely to be true in Dublin and Leinster.
According to the AA, females were more likely than males to report that they had never been stopped -- reflecting the fact that males drive more miles than females, on average.
Mr Faughnan said it was wrong to say that insurance companies pay out on claims. It was, in fact, drivers who pay for motoring claims, he said.