The AIR brings together 41 civic and business organisations from across Ireland (representing over 55,000 members, 700,000 employees, 614,000 volunteers and 374,000 students) in highlighting the negative impact of persistently high premiums.
It has called for real reforms that will quickly reduce liability and motor insurance premia to affordable levels – and keep them that way. AIR members include the Vintners Federation of Ireland, the Licensed Vintners Association, the Irish Hotels Federation and the Restaurants Association of Ireland.
At a recent meeting with Sean Fleming, the Minister of State at the Department of Finance with responsibility for Insurance, the Alliance presented the experience of 21 sectors struggling to get insurance cover or which were increasingly vulnerable due to a lack of competition among insurers in their sector.
“We warmly welcome the implementation of the new judicial guidelines on personal injury awards which came into effect in April” said Peter Boland, director of the Alliance, “and we expect this and other measures in the pipeline to apply significant downward pressure on premiums. But all that reform is of no value if you cannot get cover or there is only one underwriter prepared to offer cover. We have identified 35 sectors in this predicament.
Teresa Heeney, Chief Executive of Early Childhood Ireland, who attended the meeting, said, “ We believe that the Insurance Competition Office established by Minister of State Fleming can play a pivotal role in encouraging underwriters not currently offering cover in Ireland to do so, given the dramatic changes in the market that are taking place.
“We have proposed to the Minister that the Office:
- Research and develop the market data requirements of potential incoming underwriters
- Address urgent supply issues in areas such as childcare and child-oriented enterprises, hospitality and tourism, leisure and the creative and sports sectors; and the resultant risks associated with having just one underwriter covering strategically important sectors.”
In attendance at the meeting were:
- Bernadette Burke, Chief Executive, Childminding Ireland
- William Martin, Vice Chair, Coach Tourism and Transport Council
- Teresa Heeney, Chief Executive, Early Childhood Ireland
- Mary O’Connor, Chief Executive, Federation of Irish Sport
- Justin Green, Historic Houses of Ireland
- Jamie Farrelly, Policy and Communications Officer, Home and Community Care Ireland
- Ruth Andrews, Chief Executive, Incoming Tour Operators Association Ireland
- Brendan Kenny, Chief Executive, Ireland’s Association for Adventure Tourism
- Con Quill, Chief Executive, Irish Caravan and Camping Council
- Michael Magner, Chair, Insurance Committee, Irish Hotels Federation
- Cyril McGuinness, Irish Road Haulage Association
- Lucy Medlycott, Director, Irish Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle Network
- Don Bird, Irish Showmens Guild
- Pat Dawson, Chief Executive, Irish Travel Agents Association
- Tadhg Daly, Chief Executive, Nursing Homes Ireland
- Tommy Gill, Chief Executive, Play Activity & Leisure Ireland
- Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive, Restaurants Association of Ireland
- Tara Buckley, Director General, RGDATA
- Brian Staunton, NGB Support Unit Manager, Sport Ireland
- Padraig Cribben, Chief Executive, Vintners Federation of Ireland
- Mel Campbell, Play Services Ireland
“The number of sectors represented at this meeting gives an indication of the scale and urgency of the supply issue,” concluded Peter Boland, “The market, if left to its own devices, will respond to ongoing insurance reforms like an oil tanker not a speedboat. So Government must intervene on behalf of the sectors represented here today as well as others that we have identified.
“The actions identified by us have been backed up by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission market study of last December and must be implemented with real urgency. ”