Alliance for Insurance Reform calls for rapid action to end crippling insurance costs
The Alliance for Insurance Reform, the group which brings together representative bodies from the not-for-profit, charity, sports and small and medium-sized business sectors across Ireland, will appear before the Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach at 10:00am on Thursday April 4th. Alliance directors Linda Murray and Peter Boland will appear before the Committee alongside Gerry Monks, Director of JDM Insurance to highlight the ongoing insurance crisis.
The Alliance which brings together 26 civic and business organisations from across Ireland, representing over 36,000 members, 639,000 employees and 43,000 volunteers is appearing before the Committee demanding rapid action to end crippling insurance costs.
Alliance Director Linda Murray commented that “small businesses are now closing on a weekly basis and members right across the spectrum are reporting savage increases in liability insurance renewals. Businesses across the leisure, childcare and hospitality areas are threatened. It is clear to us that the dead hand of vested interests and a lack of sufficient political will are grinding the response to the crisis to a halt.”
Gerry Monks of JDM Insurance noted that “There is a great deal of fear out there among many organisations afraid to go public on their experiences because they are now at the mercy of one underwriter or because they are afraid to draw additional claims on themselves.”
Peter Boland, spokesperson for the Alliance, said: “It is abundantly clear to us at this stage that lawyers and insurance companies will do anything to stop real reform, working tirelessly to slow reforms and blaming each other to deflect from their own responsibilities. This is why it is imperative that political will drives this agenda. Otherwise we will be here again in a year's time providing a similar update.”
The Alliance identified three priority reforms:
- the establishment of the Garda Insurance Fraud Unit,
- the Recalibration of the Book of Quantum to reflect international norms and norms already established by the Court of Appeal and
- a commitment by insurers to a schedule of premium reductions if necessary reforms are made
Peter Boland added that “we have been campaigning for over a year now for measures to prevent exaggerated and misleading claims, consistency in the calculation of awards at realistic and affordable levels and transparency on how premiums are calculated, and claims are settled. The time for reform is now”
The Wheel is a member of the Alliance for Insurance Reform. www. insurancereform.ie