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Monday 18 February 2019

Mart accident claims must be 'fair and rational' - ICOS

Raphoe Mart. Picture: Lorcan Doherty
Raphoe Mart. Picture: Lorcan Doherty
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

Legal professionals must ensure all cases involving mart accident claims are "fair and rational", a marts spokesman has urged.

And the 'mart lockdown' move to reduce movement of people through marts has the most potential to eliminate accidents, an ICOS meeting of mart managers has heard.

ICOS livestock executive Ray Doyle said it has been working in consultation with FBD over the past three years to tackle the cost of insurance for marts.

"We are encouraged by the early indicators of reduced claims from marts where robust health and safety and mart lockdown measures are in place," he said, pointing out that marts were looking forward to reduced premiums in the near future.

His comments follow the recent closure of Mountrath Mart, where high insurance premiums were a significant factor in the mart's demise.

FBD Insurance's chief commercial officer John Cahalan said improved health and safety measures must be used by marts to reduce the frequency and severity of accidents.

"The marts sector cannot operate in an environment of unsustainable premiums, and conversely, the largest insurance provider into the marts sector cannot be expected to subsidise claims arising at a significant and recurring loss to them, which we acknowledge is the case," said Mr Doyle.

"The Government has a key role to play in helping to reduce insurance claims.

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"It is essential that the recommendations of the insurance working group report on employment liability practices are enacted. Various professions advising potential claimants also have a responsibility to ensure that all proposed claims are entirely fair and rational."

Liabilities

Mr Doyle pointed out that a number of marts have moved to "lock down" the premises on mart days to reduce the potential liabilities through sellers, buyers and members of the public moving near pens of animals.

He said increased supervision and assistance had a role to play during sales days in marts where the "full lockdown" has not yet been put in place.

In addition to this, additional training has been provided for staff along with new safety information and signage.

"The public attending marts must also be willing to play their part," he added.

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