Thursday 19 July 2018

SME costs rise as van insurance is hiked

Stock photo: Depositphotos
Stock photo: Depositphotos
Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

Irish SMEs are facing additional costs to doing business as tens of thousands of van drivers face insurance hikes on the anniversary of the collapse of Setanta Insurance.

Maltese company Setanta, which provided unsustainably low-cost cover to drivers until it collapsed in April 2014, insured somewhere between 25pc and 30pc of the 200,000 commercial vans driven on Irish roads. As a result of Setanta's sudden liquidation, all of these now have the same renewal date.

"This means about 60,000 van drivers are all trying to shop around in April," said Jonathan Hehir of, describing the situation as "chaos".

The cost of insurance for commercial vehicles has risen significantly in the past year. Premiums are up about 30pc. Motoring costs are one of the biggest expenses for many Irish SMEs.

"With insurers all charging more than Setanta did, it's tough for van drivers trying to shop around," said Hehir.

"We are snowed in with van quotes because of the common renewal date (April 17).

"We suggested that some insurers offer a nine- or 15- month policy to get some of these drivers off the same date, but have had little joy so far."

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