“In advance of the General Election, the Alliance for Insurance Reform wishes to update its members and the public regarding your party’s support for the four key reforms we are seeking” states the AIR letter which goes on to list the four key reforms:
- Reduce unfair general damages to reflect international norms and the principles already established by the higher courts – including that ‘minor injuries attract modest damages’
- Review and re-balance the “common duty of care” to require occupiers to take a duty of care that is reasonable, practical and proportionate
- Support a fully-resourced Garda Insurance Fraud Unit
- Insist on insurers committing to a schedule of forecast reductions for planned reforms.
AIR’s missive goes on to ask, “Can you please confirm whether you support each of these reforms and whether they will be included in your party’s manifesto for General Election 2020?
“We will be publishing your response and that of the other parties in order to update our members and the public”.
Peter Boland, Director of the Alliance, explained that nursing homes are the latest to be threatened by the withdrawal of one of their insurers from the market.
“Recently it was childcare providers,” he said, “From community centres to concrete manufacturers, from playgrounds to nightclubs and restaurants to sports clubs, every aspect of Irish society and commerce is threatened by the current crisis. As we wait for replies to our letter to the political parties we have a message for them – we do not have time to wait for real reforms because this is more than an electoral issue, it is a societal issue.”
At a meeting of its member organisations yesterday, AIR concluded that the insurance crisis is accelerating.
“It’s clear from the feedback we’re getting that the cost of insurance continues to rise across a wide range of sectors of Irish society and that availability of any insurance cover is becoming a serious issue for many,” said Eoin McCambridge, Managing Director of McCambridge’s of Galway and Director of the Alliance, “None of the actions taken so far have applied any downward pressure on premiums so this will be an urgent and important issue for the incoming Government from Day One.”
Peter Boland added, “It’s becoming increasingly clear to us that the insurance crisis is widening in terms of the sectors it is affecting and deepening in terms of the extent of the impact it is having on so many policy areas being discussed in the build-up to the General Election.
“There’s no point in developing comprehensive policies on childcare, tourism, the environment, the SME sector, nursing homes, childhood development, obesity, sport, arts and culture, rural development, volunteering or charities if they cannot be followed through on the ground because of insurance.