A WEST Cork business owner has seen an insurance increase of more than 100% in the two years between 2014 and 2016.Â
That's according to Fine Gael Senator, Tim Lombard, Â who described it as a âworrying trend; where the increase in cost is higher than the total insurance cost of two years prior.'
The senator has now called on the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe to initiate a review of insurance costs within the business and agriculture sectors.
Â âRecent years have seen successive increases in the price of insurance premiums across the board. Many in the business and agriculture sectors are paying increasingly exorbitant premiums which are becoming completely unaffordable.'
And the soaring prices are not a one-off, he added.
âThe Minister of State, Michael D'Arcy TD, said a Cost of Insurance Working Group has been established to review the extent of the issues within the sector, the first phase of which focused on motor insurance,' he said.Â
âThroughout this process the Working Group decided to initiate a second phase to examine the cost of public and employer liability insurance as these are the second and third largest areas where personal injury claims arise.
âAs public and employer liability insurance are the two core insurance types necessary for the agriculture and business sectors it is important to review and try to reduce these costs to minimise insurance premiums for these sectors,' added Sen Lombard. âWhile the Government cannot directly interfere and enforce pricing thresholds on insurance providers, it is possible to influence factors that contribute to market stability as well as the availability and cost of insurance.
âOne of the biggest factors currently affecting insurance costs to the consumer is the competition, or lack thereof, within the insurance market. There are only two major insurance providers for Ireland's agriculture and business sectors, effectively reducing the need for competitive, or, in the eyes of the consumer, affordable, premium rates.
âIn order for insurance premiums to be sustainably reduced there needs to be more competition within Ireland's insurance sector. To address this issue the Government must make the market more attractive to potential insurance competitors.