Cowen slams insurance costs 'crippling' hospitality industry

Justin Kelly


Justin Kelly


Cowen slams insurance costs 'crippling' hospitality industry

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Fianna Fáil TD for Offaly, Barry Cowen, has criticised the Government for their lack of action on tackling the rising costs of insurance.

Deputy Cowen was commenting as hoteliers across Offaly called for urgent and meaningful reform of the insurance industry.

He said: “Small businesses up and down the country have been crippled by massive increases in insurance costs. Pubs, bars and restaurants have all seen their insurance premiums rise by thousands over the past number of years. Sadly, many of these companies have gone out of business – for others the future is uncertain."

“Just last week the Alliance for Insurance Reform released a video of a woman placing a piece of glass in her mouth before pretending to choke in a pub in Kildare. This is just one horrific example of the need to tackle insurance fraud, and unfortunately, it’s happening all around the country and is a key reason in rising insurance premiums."

“At the moment there is no downside or deterrent for perpetrators. Currently, the worst that can happen is that the case is simply thrown out. At that, it’s the defendant who is often stuck with large legal expenses defending themselves against a fraudulent claim."

“Fianna Fáil is the only party pushing the insurance reform agenda and has brought forward the majority of legislation relating to insurance during this Dáil term. Our Civil Liability and Courts (Amendment) Bill 2019 will ensure that those who bring fraudulent claims will have to pay the legal expenses for the defendant - this would at least ensure that they will not walk away scot-free when they are convicted."

“The Government has yet to establish a national claims information database, has yet to tackle insurance fraud, has yet to establish an anti-fraud unit in An Garda Síochána, has yet to establish an index tracking business insurance premiums and have yet to take any action on stabilising personal injury claims. Their record on insurance reform has been appalling and it needs to change,” he concluded.