Underinsurance problem for homeowners

The best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk

Irish homeowners are underinsured to the tune of about €39 billion on their properties, as most have failed to increase their level of coverage to keep pace with a sharp increase in house rebuilding costs in recent years, according to estimates from one of the State’s largest insurers.

About 60 per cent of Aviva Insurance Ireland’s home insurance customers have not increased their rebuild costs in the past three years, despite repeated warnings from insurers and brokers about the problem, the company’s chief executive, Declan O’Rourke told The Irish Times. Joe Brennan has the details.

A corporate governance consultancy firm has raised questions about standards at Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI) and the objectivity of its disciplinary processes stretching back a decade. In a new report sent to CAI on May 4th and seen by The Irish Times, Governance Ireland (GI) – a third-party consultancy and advisory firm based in Dublin – said it identified “clear deficiencies” in an independent review carried out on foot of allegations of unethical behaviour made by Dublin accountant and CAI member James Fennelly, writes Ian Curran.

Professional services giant KPMG has opened a European artificial intelligence (AI) hub in Dublin, with plans to create 200 jobs over the next three years to support clients looking to implement the technology in line with new European Union rules. Ian Curran reports.


The clock is ticking for Declan Ganley’s plans to launch 300 satellites by June of 2026. Ganley, the chief executive of Rivada Networks, is aiming to create an array of hundreds of satellites to deliver a kind of private, unhackable internet that he has dubbed “The OuterNet”.

It’s no small job to begin with, and further complicated by the fact that overhanging it is a series of very tight deadlines, writes Barry J Whyte in Agenda.

What's behind the recent surge in housing construction here?

Listen | 32:03

Declan O’Rourke, the chief executive of Aviva Insurance Ireland, may be a GAA diehard. But the Tipperary native knows the value of the group’s naming rights to the cathedral for Irish rugby and soccer.

“It’s one of the best sponsorship assets in the country,” O’Rourke tells Joe Brennan in our interview of the week. Mr O’Rourke is also The Irish Times Business Person of the Month for April.

The European Union has been ramping up the cost of carbon in order to discourage emissions and help the planet, but that means a gap is opening up in the cost of fossil fuels between the EU and many other countries.

To prevent such unfair and environmentally damaging competition, the EU is introducing a special tax on a range of products that have a high carbon content. These include electricity, cement, aluminium and fertiliser. However, this could have implications for the Republic, warns John FitzGerald in his weekly column.

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