Insurance costs and small firms
Sir, – Recently a horse-drawn carriage operator, Sean Kilkenny, made the four-day trek from Co Clare to the Dáil in his horse-drawn vehicle to highlight his situation of public liability insurance.
His small family-run business is facing a crisis due to his insurance premium quadrupling almost overnight.
This not a one-off. Public liability has become almost unavailable at any cost due to the amount of claims and the generosity of the awards made often for very trifling injuries. The number of solicitors advertising their services on a “no win no fee” basis just exacerbates the problem. It would appear that no one is prepared to take responsibility for their own misadventure but expects a third party to compensate them when things go wrong. The insurers and the medical and legal professions are prospering but at the expense of rural life.
The Government needs to take decisive action to make taking a claim much more difficult and, in the event of an award being made, have the amount commensurate with the injuries suffered. If not, the voluntary sector and many small and medium business will just grind to a halt.
Action has been promised by successive governments but the time for delay is long past. – Yours, etc,