This figure was given at this year’s Vintners Federation of Ireland Conference in Cork by Peter Boland of the Alliance for Insurance Reform who gave a presentation to delegates in the Rochestown Park Hotel conference suite.
And while he described this insurance premium hike as “scandalous” it was dwarfed by figures from other sectors such as the grocery sector which has witnessed a 73% increase during this time and play centres which had been subject to a 537% increase.
ISME had reported increases of 82% and there was no sign of it easing up, he said.
However some progress had been made in that Section 8 of the Civil Liability & Court Act 2004 which reduces the period for the reporting of accidents to within a month had now been made mandatory. There were seven pieces of legislation pending to address such issues as Quantum, fraudulent, exaggerated and misleading claims in court and keeping policy-holders informed on claims.
Momentum on such issues was being maintained by the Alliance by generating as many stories as possible to put political pressure onto the situation, “… because the Cost of Doing Business Report virtually ignored insurance when it reported,” he stated.
“But with momentum there are also blockages,” he added, “There are an enormous number of bills working their way through the Oireachtas at moment.
“Brexit and the local elections are a priority and then there’s a possible General Election.”
He also claimed that, “It has never been clearer that vested interests are at play here”.
Insurance costs were becoming increasingly unsustainable with lawyers making over €350 million a year in the personal injury compensation space, he continued.
“Insurers too have a turnover of about €2.2 billion between motor and liability insurance and then there’s the medical profession and brokers – all of them want to make money out of this.
“But only one sector can push through the reforms needed here and that is government.”
And he urged VFI members to lobby effectively on this in an election year with immediate focus on a couple of key reforms: The setting up of a Garda Insurance Fraud Unit – “I cannot understand why this has not taken place” – and a Book of Quantum for minor injuries.
While there were several pieces of legislation working their way through the Oireachtas at the moment he’d also like to see a schedule from insurers of forecast reductions.
“The Judicial Council Bill will help on the education of judges but make no mistake, the legal reps will fight tooth-and-nail to defend their incomes.
“They’re now looking at introducing defamation and stress into play after this,” he warned.
Following the his presentation, VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben pointed out that, “Peter is only able to work on the Alliance business part-time as against the two best-resourced industries in the country – insurance and law”.