'The guy on the street's getting hammered'
UP UNTIL yesterday morning, The Radical Food Co had a fully comprehensive insurance policy from Setanta Insurance costing €660.
It could have cost the firm thousands of euro had staff not heard of developments by chance. As it was, its van sat at the side of the road for hours with the engine running while the firm frantically looked for a new deal.
Miriam Monahan, of The Radical Food Co, said its driver rang her to check if he was still insured to drive the van after he heard the news at lunchtime yesterday.
"We have had absolutely no contact from Setanta, or our broker," she said. "We had absolutely no insurance – I just thought it was disgraceful. The brokers didn't know any better so it was just a matter of sit tight, wait and see."
Miriam had to ask driver Martin Cosgrave, from Raheny in Dublin, to pull into the side of the road, and to keep the engine running to save its load of fresh food from ruin.
"We just kept the van ticking over on the side of the road, with the fridge unit going, keeping the product at the right temperature," she said.
"I didn't have time. I couldn't afford for our driver to be sitting there for hours. We had customers who were waiting for product."
She said the Dublin firm's Nissan van is absolutely essential to its operation, as it helps "keep in contact with people, and it also brings brand awareness".
After three hours, Miriam secured a new policy and resumed operations.
She added: "It's just not good enough. The guy on the street seems to get hammered. It could have been absolutely devastating. If Martin our driver or myself hadn't been listening to the news – if there was an accident, we would have been liable. Then we'd have been in severe trouble. We are a small company."