Escalating insurance premiums a threat to small business and vital public services – McGrath

Published on: 12 December 2017

Finance Minister confirms to Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson, Michael McGrath TD that the report from the insurance working group on Employer Liability (EL) and Public Liability (PL) will now not be published until 2018.

“The rising cost of insurance is becoming a major issue across many sectors. Small businesses are reporting sometimes 30, 40, and 50 per cent increases in their premiums. These increases are simply unsustainable and represent a direct threat to the survival of these businesses,” said McGrath.

“Other organisations are facing similar increases. Schools, charities, sports clubs among others are all reporting significant increases in insurance premiums. In one particular case, a school with an outstanding insurance claim reported to me that their premium went from €3,900 two years ago to a massive €21,000 this year.

“That is an increase of nearly 440 per cent. In this particular case insurance two years ago represented just over 5% of the school’s Capitation Grant, now it represents nearly 3%. Many schools will not face increases to this extent but I have been told of other schools where increases of over 100% have occurred. These increases will inevitably impact on vital services that the public rely on.

“This is simply unsustainable and it has to be addressed. Astonishingly, there is no data tracking changes in premiums for businesses and organisations.  All we have to go on is the feedback from constituents complaining of excessive premium hikes.

“The Government promised action in the area of Public and Employer Liability. These are the two areas that drive up the cost of insurance. While the Government’s working group on the rising cost of insurance commenced its work earlier this year it now transpires that the report on Public and Employer Liability will not report back until 2018.

“We cannot afford anymore delay on this vital issue. If these increases persist businesses will suffer and jobs will be lost. Vital public services will be curtailed and people relying on these services will suffer. The Government need to finalise this report and implement the reforms as soon as possible”, concluded McGrath.

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