Wednesday 16 October 2019

Insurance is threat to community groups

Jamie Moore of the Fingal Public Participation Network
Jamie Moore of the Fingal Public Participation Network

John Manning

More that a third of Fingal's community groups say their operation is under threat from rising insurance costs in a shocking survey taken by the Public Participation Network (PPN).

According to the Fingal PPN, some 83% of community groups Fingal have seen insurance costs rise in last three years and a staggering 35% say their group is in danger of stopping altogether if insurance costs continue to rise

The Fingall PPN has warned that rising insurance costs and increased red tape are threatening the county's community and voluntary groups, as the Public Participation Networks nationally published the results of a major survey which clearly illustrates the grip the insurance crisis has taken on Irish society.

Jamie Moore of the Fingal PPN said: 'The country's PPNs represent around 15,000 member groups; community and voluntary groups providing a wealth of services to Ireland's communities.

'The figures in this survey merely confirm what we are hearing from them every day of the week.

'The infrastructure of volunteering in Ireland is being threatened by spiralling insurance costs, unavailability of insurance cover and increasingly unreasonable exclusions and conditions.

'While SME's typically close if they are hit with massive premium increases, community groups tend to wind down key activities and soldier on.

'This means much of the impact of this crisis has being hidden up to now because they are not closing.'

Headlines Fingal figures from the research include:

The research shows that 44% of Fingal's community groups who responded to the survey have had to reduce the number and range of activities they can undertake and

65% say it is very hard to find funding streams that will cover insurance costs .

Most worryinglin, 35% say their group is in danger of stopping altogether if insurance costs continue to rise and 88% think the government is not doing enough to try and tackle rising insurance costs

The types of groups involved include sports clubs, community centres, residents association, men's groups, heritage clubs, youth services, Tidy Towns and more.

Some 41% of community groups in Fingal are now paying premiums of over €1,000 per year for their insurance, according to the research.

Scouting organisations in the county have seen an insurance increase of 38% per member. A community employment scheme, which is designed to help people who are long-term employed through placement with local community organisations has seen its premium rise from €1,500 per annum to over €4,000 per annum, for example, resulting in a significant cut to its services such as winter training, coaching, and children dropping out due to raising participation costs.

Many Fingal community organisations respondents also noted they have to fundraise just to cover their insurance costs.

Fingal Independent