Wednesday 21 August 2019

'If we can't get replacement cover we will have to close down' - Fota Adventure Centre

Struggling: Derek Binchy of Fota Adventure Centre, Cork, who is under huge pressure due to spiralling insurance costs. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Struggling: Derek Binchy of Fota Adventure Centre, Cork, who is under huge pressure due to spiralling insurance costs. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

A popular adventure centre in Cork is engaged in a desperate scramble to get insurance cover.

The cover for Fota Adventure Centre comes up for renewal in the coming weeks. It was previously handled by LeisureInsure.

That insurer had covered most leisure and tourism-related firms in this market, but has since decided to pull out of the Irish market.

Managing director of Fota Adventure Centre Derek Binchy said his company was now threatened with closure.

"This is a serious problem. We can't trade without insurance. If we can't get replacement cover, we will just have to close down," he said.

The adventure centre provides obstacle courses, and offers archery, bushcraft lessons and orienteering.

It caters for school groups and sports teams, accepts corporate bookings and has summer camps. It has up to 15 people working for it during the summer, with many of them shareholders in the business.

Mr Binchy says the business has never had a claim, but despite that its premium shot up by 91pc last year, and it is now struggling to find a new insurer. The business has been operating since 2013, and is a member of the Irish Association of Adventure Tourism and the Alliance for Insurance Reform.

There is an urgent need for tourism and leisure businesses to have a solution to the insurance crisis. The tourism sector, which includes adventure centres along with guided walks and cycling operators, is worth €1.8bn to the economy, he says.

Irish Independent

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