Of nearly nine in 10 publicans (88%) who’ve witnessed a rise in their premia over the past two years, 15% of them reported that the cost of their insurance policies had risen by 30% to 40% in this time.
Rises of 20% to 30% were quoted by 24% of publicans in the Federation’s survey of 410 members last month while two in five (39%) quoted a rise of the order of 10% to 20%. Some 6% experienced a rise of 40-50% and 6% witnessed an increase of over 50%.
Earlier this year a report from the National Competitiveness Council stated that insurance costs are one of the issues of “greatest concern to businesses” in this country.
However as no comprehensive data is readily available on commercial insurance rates in Ireland, the VFI conducted this member survey to gauge if – and how – insurance premium hikes are affecting publicans on the ground.
Nearly half of VFI respondents (44%) believed premia were rising due to higher legal costs arising from settling the claims against them while a further 27% of publicans claimed the increases were solely connected to the pricing policies of insurers with 12% believing that the collapse of insurance companies has led to an increase in insurance premia across the board.
“Rising insurance premiums are yet another crippling cost publicans face in addition to a host of other costs,” stated VFI Chief Executive Pádraig Cribben, “The reality of the situation is that these insurance costs are hampering the progress of small business owners and publicans across Ireland and it’s crucial the Government recognises this and offers its support.
“As it stands, the cost of settling insurance claims in Ireland is out of control, particularly in comparison to other countries. This is having a severe knock-on effect resulting in rising insurance premiums not only for publicans but across the board.
“If claims need to be settled, the courts should be the place of last resort not first. Enhanced empowerment of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board together with an urgent review of the Book of Quantum is required now to stop this spiral of increases.”