Sinn Féin councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has said that government inaction on regulation of the insurance industry could lead to the failure of more local businesses and job losses.
Councillor Ó Murchú made his comments following the campaign to secure insurance for Dundalk based Pelican Promotions.
Ruairí Ó Murchú said:
“The case of Pelican Promotions should sound alarm bells for the Government and should incite immediate intervention by the State to avoid the decimation of the leisure industry.
“The fact that a business, which has been trading for almost 30 years with an impeccable record, would be unable to secure public liability insurance shows a complete market failure.
“This week has also seen the failure of the Government’s plan for a claims database to help reduce fraudulent claims.
“All of this, coupled with the unjustified ever rising cost for motor and other insurances, warrants immediate action.
“The government’s response is the establishment of a review by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, which does not appear to have any indicated date for completion.
“While this may be a move in the right direction, there is a very narrow window of opportunity to rectify the current situation. We are in danger of loosing small businesses, clubs and community centres as their insurance premiums skyrocket, or they cannot find insurance at all.
“It is clear that the issues affecting the insurance industry are bogus claims, levels of award which are too high and the exaggeration of the number of bogus claims by insurance companies for their own ends.
“To rectify this the government should support Pearse Doherty’s Consumer Insurance Contracts Bill – which is designed to bring the insurance industry to heel and reform the law in respect of insurance contracts.
“The Government should also expedite the establishment of the Personal Injuries Guidelines Committee, as provided for in the recently passed Judicial Council Bill.”