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The Word on the Week

Cash for Crash

The rather tranquil world of motor insurance in Ireland has had a few wake-up calls recently. When Setanta, who had artificially driven down premiums, went to the wall, instead of the Government going down the usual track of imposing a levy on the industry to pay the outstanding claims the job was assigned to the Motor Insurance Bureau.
The Bureau, which was designed to pay the uninsured driver or unidentified car (hit and run) claims, was in the limelight again this week when six blokes came out of The Ref Pub and into John McGinley’s taxi which was to be involved in a staged ‘accident’.
While driving through a housing estate McGinley was directed to take a left turn upon which his taxi was hit in the rear by a red Toyota Aventis. The car limped away from the ‘accident’ but not before McGinley noted its registration number.
Surprisingly none of the passengers saw the car and none had a mobile phone. All claimed injuries and in due course the scene was attended by ambulances, fire engine and Garda who took the men’s particulars although they were well known.
At hospital there were the usual thorough examination, ex-rays etc. but all were later allowed to go home. Subsequently they visited their doctors with back and neck complaints and were given pain-killers. They also visited their solicitors O’Hanrahan & Co situated next door to the pub and each filed claims for €60,000 damages arising, it was alleged, from pain and suffering as a result of the ‘accident’.
As the ‘accident’ was caused by an ‘unidentified’ car the claim was dealt with by the Motor Insurance Bureau. The Bureau decided to fight the case and a team of insurance investigator interviewed the six men whose recollection of the ‘accident’ was very vague. McGinley, the taxi driver, was very clear. He had even gone the day after the event into the estate, found the Toyota and photographed it.
In court under cross-examination the case fell apart and the men withdrew it.
The Judge commented that “there was a set-up”! The men walked away!
A fraudulent claim had been thwarted. There were however considerable costs to the State, the Court and the MIB. It is hoped that the Garda may prosecute but with staffing shortages it is unlikely.
There is a culture which looks upon Insurers as ‘fair game’! They have large reserves and, in a good year, make substantial profits. The temptation to inflate the value of one’s loss can prove irresistible. Unearned money, lotto, dogs, horses or insurance claims seems sweeter! Winnings are celebrated wages are not!
The Bible is very basic here. Its commands are “Thou shall not steal” and “give us this day our daily bread” (Exodus Chapter 20 verse 15 and St Matthew Chapter 6 verse 11). Keeping your hands off what is not yours and looking to God to supply your needs a radical change of heart.
Jesus would agree. He said “You must be born again” (St John Chapter 3 verse 3). A day in a Court of Law will not do it. Six months in the slammer will not do it. Only hearing and obeying the message that gives life will have the desired effect.

The Bible says there is no difference between them and us – It’s the same Lord over all who richly blesses all who call upon him – Everyone who call on the Name of the Lord will be saved (Romans Chapter 10 verses 12-13). Your record does not stand against you as Jesus has expunged it. Have faith in Him.