Concerns have been raised about the cost of insurance for businesses across the country, with Noel Grealish TD saying that it is the number one issue that is likely to force the closure of many business in the next two years.
The Galway West TD was speaking in the Dáil yesterday during Leader’s Questions when insisted that many businesses will close before there is a real reduction in insurance premiums, “unless the Government takes decisive action now.”
“Last week I listened to Michael Magner, owner of the Vienna Woods Hotel in Cork, who is also chairman of the insurance committee of the Irish Hotels Federation,” said Deputy Grealish.
“While being interviewed on the “Today with Sean O’Rourke” show, he stated his own insurance costs had risen from €10,000 in 2006 to €86,000 in 2016 and to a staggering €156,000 last year.
“In my own constituency, McCambridge’s of Galway, which is one of the longest-established businesses in Galway city, has seen its total insurance bill rocket from €20,000 in 2015 to €50,000 in 2016 and then to €102,000 in 2017.
“These are just two examples, I could list hundreds of horror stories. No business can sustain this,” added the Independent TD.
The Taoiseach acknowledged the issue, saying that he is ‘very conscious of the impact of the rising cost of insurance and its enormous cost burden on individuals and in particular on businesses’ across the State.
“In recognition of the increased cost of insurance for motorists and businesses in recent years, a cost of insurance working group was established under the chairmanship of the Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Deputy D’Arcy,” said the Taoiseach.
“We must remember, however, that neither the Minister for Finance nor the Central Bank can interfere in the pricing of insurance products. This is a private market and as these matters are of a commercial nature and are determined by insurance companies, they must be based on an assessment of the risks they are willing to accept,” he added.