Farmers face 'low digit' premium hikes say FBD
Published 04/05/2016 | 02:30
FBD chief executive Fiona Muldoon has sought to reassure farmers that insurance premium hikes this year will be modest.
Ms Muldoon told shareholders the company's AGM that its primary focus is on returning to profitability, and premiums would have to go up as a consequence.
"Our farm book will see some increases, I do not expect them to be anything like the order that we have seen, but we will see low single digit increases in the farm book," Ms Muldoon said. "On motor, however, the motor increases are likely to be more than that," she added
"Many of our shareholders will also be farmers and will know all about the issues in the industry particularly in the dairy sector where commodity prices are very challenged. We will judge it and we will judge it finely, and we are aware of our customer base and what they're going through, but FBD has got to protect its shareholders and it has got to return to profitability."
Ms Muldoon was speaking at a lively AGM at which FBD chairman Michael Berkery revealed the company's former chief executive Andrew Langford is working on a secret FBD project outside the day-to-day affairs of the business, for which he is being paid €16,300 a month.
Chairman Mr Berkery said that at the time Mr Langford resigned, the former boss was working on a "satellite project".
"At that time in July, Andrew and the company had another commercial project outside of the day-to-day management of FBD, I would say something of a satellite project, underway.
"We agreed as a board, and we agreed as a remuneration committee etc, that Andrew had a contribution he could make, not in the day-to-day management of FBD...that project is underway, he is engaged to deliver it, and I will report at another time about that."
Ms Muldoon said she believed that FBD had "broadly stabilised" in the second half of 2015. "We have a clear strategy, it has been articulated, we continue to strengthen our customer base in the Irish agricultural and small business sectors."
In a closing statement, Ms Muldoon said she believed FBD is "a fine business".
"A lot of the difficulties and the anger and the hurt that has gone before needs to be put behind us and we need to be out fighting the competition, not each other," she added.