Small Offaly company paying €30,000 insurance costs
Spiralling insurance costs for a number of Offaly businesses has prompted two local councillors to tabled motions seeking action from the government in the shape of its insurance reform programme.
Councillors Tony McCormack and Liam Quinn introduced separate but similar motions to the February meeting of Offaly County Council on Monday, February 18.
Cllr Quinn said he had been made aware of a small business employing 12-14 people in Edenderry that had seen its insurance premium more than double to €24,000 "for no apparent reason."
"This employer says they had no claim against their policy and yet their costs are spiralling. It is a major concern and a huge strain on businesses like this one trying to stay afloat in the county," Cllr Quinn told the meeting.
Cllr McCormack informed his fellow members and management of a similar situation with a business in the Tullamore area where the insurance costs had increased from around €6,000 to €30,000 in three years.
He also said this rise came in the absence of a claim against the policy and agreed that "the cost of insurance is now crippling to small businesses."
Both councillors' motion called for Offaly County Council to request the government to accelerate its insurance reform programme in light of the continuing increases in premiums.
Cllr Quinn's motion went further and requested OCC to call on the government to establish "a distinct Insurance Fraud Unit within An Garda Síochana" as well as "an interim Judicial Council to address excessive awards made in our courts."
He also sought "greater transparency in relation to claims and premiums from Irish insurers."
They were dealt with jointly with Cllr Quinn proposing and Cllr McCormack seconding the motion.