Wednesday, 13 March 2019
Business Insurance: Motion [Private Members]
Lisa Chambers (Mayo, Fianna Fail)
I commend my colleague, Deputy Michael McGrath, on his work to try to tackle what is essentially the robbery of our citizens through excessive business and car insurance premiums. The cost of public and employer liability insurance is out of control and closing down businesses. The Government has paid this issue a lot of lip service but failed to address it, while ignoring businesses time and again to the point where many are now closing. The personal injuries commission reported nine months ago, but no action has been taken by the Government.
We know that we need to tackle the high cost of whiplash claims and establish a judicial council to compile guidelines on appropriate damages. It is very easy to blame lawyers, but insurance companies are not even engaging with the judicial process. Instead, they are paying out on many claims and informing their business clients of that afterwards. The businesses ultimately pay the cost through higher insurance premiums thereafter. Two minor claims were paid out on by the insurance company of a business in my town of Castlebar, County Mayo, without consulting the business owner. That business has closed. It was a profitable business and a local employer. Insurance premiums are going sky high. They are closing businesses and increasing every year. The Government needs to do something about this immediately.