Friday 9 December 2016

Publicans say rising insurance premiums putting strain on business

Sean Duffy

Published 08/11/2016 | 12:07

Belfast bar faces nine charges of breaching licensing conditions.
Belfast bar faces nine charges of breaching licensing conditions.

Publicans across the country say that rising insurance premiums are putting increasing strain on their businesses.

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A new survey carried out by the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) found that 37pc of publicans said they had encountered difficulties in securing insurance cover for their premises.

The survey also showed that business insurance ranked as the highest cost for publicans, ahead of commercial rates and TV subscriptions.

The data reveal that 88pc of publicans have seen their premiums rise over the past two years. Almost 40pc of pubs saw their premiums rise by between 10 and 20pc, while 34pc had to pay between 20-30pc more for their policies. At the most extreme end of the spectrum, 15pc of those surveyed had the cost of their policies increased by between 30 and 40pc.

Pádraig Cribben, CEO Vintners’ Federation of Ireland, said:

“Rising insurance premiums are yet another crippling cost publicans face in addition to a host of other costs. The reality of the situation is that these insurance costs are hampering the progress of small business owners and publicans across Ireland and it’s crucial the Government recognise this and offers its support.

“As it stands, the cost of settling insurance claims in Ireland is out of control particularly in comparison to other countries. This is having a severe knock-on effect resulting in rising insurance premiums not only for publicans but across the board.”

Almost half (44pc) of publicans said premiums were rising due to the higher legal costs associated with settling claims.

Licenced premises continue to play an important role in Irish culture, with figures for 2015 showing that the State recouped a total of €1.1bn last year from alcohol sales.

The VFI research also shows that Cork is the county in Ireland with the most pubs (954), followed by Dublin (772), with Galway in third place for total number of pubs. Kerry (435) and Tipperary had the fourth and fifth highest concentration of licenced premises. 

Overall, there are 7,182 pubs in Ireland which employ 52,000 people. The research also revealed that 93pc of pubs are family owned.

The importance of the local pub to smaller communities is emphasised by a figure which shows that 47pc of all pubs in the country are based in a rural and rural and village location.

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