Let’s (not) form another committee

Insurance. You can’t live with it and you can’t live without it…

Insurance. You can’t live with it and you can’t live without it… We speak to Insurance Ireland’s Chief Executive Kevin Thompson in this month’s 1&1 about escalating insurance costs.

As a significant business cost, public liability and other forms of business insurance have spiralled out of control and – sigh – let’s face it, show little sign of being reigned in as yet.

So perhaps one of the first things our new Taoiseach Leo Varadkar might look at is the increasingly crippling (excuse the pun) cost of insurance premia for small businesses.

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck (and tastes good with Hoi Sin sauce) then it’s a blooming duck and the government needs to take action now to stop the runaway costs of litigation and compensation payouts.

Certainly comparing the potential payout from the Personal Injuries Assessment Board against that from going to court is putting Michael Jackson into the ring against Mike Tyson. Lawyers are paid to get results and the fatter the fall is made to seem then the fatter the fee. So our legal profession finds itself agreeably busier than a Syrian air-traffic controller.

And there’s absolutely no incentive to stop the courts gravy train. Is that to be unexpected where judges all grew up hungry young lawyers themselves and seem to now live in a well-paid world of their own?

A courageous government could make a material difference. Put a stop to the payout bonanza and establish a Book of Quantum that’s in keeping with the rest of Europe, not the one that’s currently being promulgated. For that one is as much use to the reality of everyday life as an umbrella is to a sheep.

Courage at governmental level requires that the present investigation into the cost of business insurance be encouraged to conclude more speedily and those findings be made public. It also requires that the government don’t sidle off-stage by setting up another committee/investigation instead of doing something to reverse the rapidly deteriorating insurance situation today.

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