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Insurance companies are ‘killing the craic’ – events firm


Paul Kavanagh of DJ Solutions in Kilkenny. Photo: Dylan Vaughan.

Paul Kavanagh of DJ Solutions in Kilkenny. Photo: Dylan Vaughan.

Paul Kavanagh of DJ Solutions in Kilkenny. Photo: Dylan Vaughan.

An events company that installs light-up dancefloors for wedding venues has accused insurance companies of “killing the craic”.

Paul Kavanagh, the owner of DJ Solutions in Co Kilkenny, will no longer be able to provide high-tech temporary dancefloors as no insurance company will offer cover.

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Couples who booked his product will be left disappointed after his current policy expires.

Mr Kavanagh said he is at a loss to understand why he cannot get insurance after six years as there have been no claims against his business.

“We’ve had two years of nothing because of the pandemic, so it’s a killer when we’re only trying to get back on our feet,” he told the Irish Independent.

“The only ones losing out are couples. We’re going to have to give a lot of deposits back as we had a bucket load of bookings.”

His business also provides illuminated signs, lighting, backdrops and photo booths – all of which he can still get cover for – but the starlight dancefloors were popular with customers.

“Insurance is killing the craic, it’s taking all the craic away. If you trip on a light-up dancefloor you’re insane,” he said.

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“You’re going to trip over an awful lot of life. What will happen going forward now is a lot of places in the events industry will self-insure. We’re already seeing that with ice rinks that are struggling to get insurance.”

Other businesses in the events industry are also struggling with insurance issues.

Patrick Deedigan, the owner of Tribal Events in Co Limerick, received a renewal quote of €10,000 – five times higher than his previous policy. The quote also covers only 30 events.

“I’ve never seen that before where an insurer will limit the number of events you can do,” Mr Deedigan said.

The company organises graduations, debutante balls,

other entertainment, photo booths, party games and lighting for venues.

“I outsource most things and companies you bring in would have their own insurance, particularly security companies,” Mr Deedigan said.

“The hotels also have their own insurance. I’ve been operating over 10 years and never had a claim against me.

“It’s very worrying. I only have one quote and that’s for over €10,000.

“I have two separate brokers looking into it and they’re finding it hard to get a quote. It’s worrying that you might not be able to get insurance and you might have to cancel events.”

Peter Boland, director of the Alliance for Insur- ance Reform, said it is disappointing to see businesses still struggling with cover after a difficult 18 months.

“Between spiralling insurance costs and the lack of availability of cover for many businesses, it’s proving very difficult for the entertainment and events sector to plot its recovery from the pandemic,” he said.

“The Government must act now to rebalance the duty of care and attract additional underwriting capacity into the market.”

A survey by the Alliance for Insurance Reform earlier this week revealed overall insurance costs have shot up by 15pc since new guidelines on personal injury award levels were introduced.

A total of 450 businesses, voluntary and community groups responded to the survey and said their premiums have increased on renewal.

Motor renewals were the only ones to fall, with a 10pc drop recorded.

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