Sunday 25 March 2018

Reform group launches campaign to end excessive insurance premiums for SMEs

Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

A number of organisations from across the country have launched a campaign for action to end crippling insurance premiums.

The Alliance for Insurance Reform has been brought about by 18 civic and business groups from across Ireland who wish to highlight the negative impact of high premiums.

It represents 35,000 members, over 620,000 employees and 41,300 volunteers who are calling for real action to tackle the issue.

"Persistently high, unsustainable insurance premiums are pushing everyday organisations to the brink and denying Ireland the voluntary and business services any civilised society might expect," spokesperson for the Alliance Peter Boland said.

"The formation of the Alliance for Insurance Reform is on the back of intense frustration with unjust and persistent rises in insurance premiums and the clear lack of any meaningful results from the initiatives taken in the area so far.

"What is at stake is the survival of charities and voluntary bodies serving our country and the livelihood of Irish business owners and their staff. That is why we need action now."

The creation of the Alliance is a response to the experience of many SMEs in which services and jobs are being affected by excessive insurance costs. 

At the launch today, Eoin McCambridge of McCambridges food hall and restaurant in Galway gave an example of the negative impact of excessive insurance premiums.

"Rising insurance premiums are preventing McCambridges from investing in the business in terms of expansion, improvement and employment.In 2014 our insurance premium was €17,000. In 2017, it was €102,000," he said.

"Within three years, McCambridges will be closed if premiums keep rising at the current rate."

The Alliance intend to hold public meetings around Ireland in the coming weeks, gathering feedback from firms and groups on their experiences.

It is then expected that the group will publish a specific list of changes it believes are necessary to prevent fake claims, deliver transparency, ensure consistency and give policyholders a voice.  

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