21 March 2018
By Mary Bermingham
Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West, Michael Moynihan has said that businesses up and down North Cork are at risk of going under as a result of the crippling costs of business insurance.
Deputy Moynihan was commenting ahead of a Fianna Fáil Dáil motion on the issue this week which seeks to shine the spotlight on how rising business insurance costs are putting severe pressure on businesses.
“In recent weeks I have met with many business owners from Cork who are deeply concerned about the continuing rise in the cost of their business insurance premiums. I facilitated a meeting with our Spokesperson on Finance, Michael McGrath which has fed into our motion this week.
“The National Competitiveness Council has cited the incredibly high cost of doing business in Ireland, with business insurance costs contributing heavily to the pressure businesses are facing. Large increases in employer and public liability insurance premiums are dramatically cutting profit margins making it more and more difficult to keep businesses afloat.
“There has rightly been a keen political and media focus on the major difficulties faced by motor insurance consumers in recent years but much less of an emphasis on the rising insurance costs faced by businesses
“Without urgent action, insurance premiums will soon become unsustainable for many businesses forcing business owners to choose between taking out insurance or not. This practice is extremely risky and threatens the viability of the businesses involved.
“In addition to premium hikes, other policy changes have been made to the detriment of businesses including increases in excess levels and the increasing prevalence of policy exclusions. Businesses consistently raise the claims environment as a key issue driving premium increases.
“Our motion which will be debated this week calls for a number of measures to be taken to ensure that businesses can remain viable. They include:
· Legally oblige insurers to provide a breakdown of the premium cost to the business and to provide more information to the business on how premiums are calculated;
· “Ensure that the Book of Quantum is updated at least once every three years;
· Establish a declined insurance mechanism for employer and public liability insurance;
· Legally oblige insurance companies to notify policyholders of claims made against them before settlement, the amount a claim was settled for, the reasons why the claim was settled.
“The government needs to reboot its Working Group on the Cost of Insurance and focus on what can be done in the
short term in addition to longer term objectives. The reality is that many businesses cannot afford to wait until 2019 or 2020 for reforms to be introduced.
“They need action on this issue now and we will be calling for this in today’s Dáil debate,” concluded Moynihan.