Sunday 22 September 2019

Longford Center Parcs is hit with 50pc higher insurance premium than resorts in UK

Activities: Center Parcs Longford Forest is the holiday village operator’s first venture into Ireland
Activities: Center Parcs Longford Forest is the holiday village operator’s first venture into Ireland
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

Public liability insurance for Center Parcs Longford Forest is 50pc more expensive here than for the UK resorts, as Irish-based businesses continued to be hammered on premiums.

A spokesperson for the new €233m holiday destination confirmed to the Irish Independent that insurance for the midlands attraction costs vastly more than in its five other outlets.

A spokesperson for the Longford venue declined to comment when asked if they were concerned that the running costs could affect the facility's future in the long run.

"Center Parcs would not like to make any further comment on insurance at this time," she said.

The company's chief executive, Martin Dalby, previously alluded to the issue during the high-profile opening of the resort in July.

But he insisted that its Irish investment was here to stay for many years. "There is no problem as such, but we pay more on average in Ireland than we do in the UK for the same type of cover," Mr Dalby said.

But no doubt easing the pain of the high premium is the new attraction's evident popularity with Irish holidaymakers, despite some eyebrows raised at the prices.

Irish families are eager to check out the 400-acre resort, which has met with favourable reviews.

The Longford Forest resort comprises more than 100 indoor and outdoor activities, which include a number of exciting pursuits.

One of the most popular attractions is a 170-metre zip wire while other favourites include aerial tree trekking and water-based sports such as boating, kayaking and jet skiing.

Rapids

In the pool area, there are a number of fast-moving water-slides in addition to an outdoor rapids area that is out of bounds to smaller children who aren't strong swimmers.

The insurance industry in Ireland has come under the spotlight in recent months as a raft of popular businesses have been forced to close down after being hit with huge hikes in their premiums, regardless of whether or not they have been involved in a claim.

Among them have been a number of bouncy castle companies, soft-play areas featuring trampolines, and outdoor adventure centres.

The most recent casualty was Rathbeggan Lakes, near Dunshaughlin, Co Meath.

It closed its doors after 21 years after owner Dave Robinson said he was unable to afford the 100pc insurance hike to €40,000.

Last week saw Loughcrew Adventure Centre in Co Meath also pull the plug after a similar hike in its premium.

The ongoing crisis has been exacerbated by one of the leading insurers in the sector pulling out of the Irish market, namely British-owned Leisure Insure.

Irish insurers are reluctant to offer public liability cover owing to the high level of injury awards, and the high amounts paid out in this country.

Irish Independent

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