Whole sectors of society struggling to get insurance cover

The Alliance for Insurance Reform has urged the Government to avoid leaving any sector behind as insurance reforms are implemented.

At a meeting this afternoon with Sean Fleming, the Minister of State at the Department of Finance with responsibility for Insurance, the Alliance presented the experience of 21 sectors* that are struggling to get insurance cover or are increasingly vulnerable due to a lack of competition among insurers in their sector.

Peter Boland, director of the Alliance said “We warmly welcome the implementation of the new judicial guidelines on personal injury awards which came into effect in April; and we expect this and other measures in the pipeline to apply significant downward pressure on premiums. But all that reform is of no value if you cannot get cover or there is only one underwriter prepared to offer cover. We have identified 35 sectors1 in this predicament.

Teresa Heeney, ​​​Chief Executive Officer of ​​Early Childhood Ireland, who attended the meeting said “ We believe that the Insurance Competition Office established by Minister of State Fleming can play a pivotal role in encouraging underwriters not currently offering cover in Ireland to do so, given the dramatic changes in the market that are taking place. We have proposed to the Minister that the Office:

  • Research and develop the market data requirements of potential incoming underwriters
  • Address urgent supply issues in areas such as childcare and child-oriented enterprises, hospitality and tourism, leisure and the creative and sports sectors; and the resultant risks associated with having just one underwriter covering strategically important sectors

Lucy Medlycott, Director of ISACS, the Irish Street Artists, Circus and Spectacular Network, who also attended the meeting said “ We also asked the Minister and his team to instruct the Insurance Competition Office to develop an understanding of the detailed market segmentation being used by underwriters to analyse opportunities; and formulate responses as necessary. For example, the entire Irish creative sector would probably make for a viable market for an underwriter. But if that sector is further broken down, then sub-sectors such as community circuses or street artists will probably never present a viable commercial opportunity and their demise would be Ireland’s loss.”

Peter Boland, concluded “The number of sectors represented at this meeting gives an indication of the scale and urgency of the supply issue. The market, if left to its own devices, will respond to ongoing insurance reforms like an oil tanker, not a speedboat. So Government must intervene on behalf of the sectors represented here today as well as others that we have identified. The actions identified by us have been backed up by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission market study of last December and must be implemented with real urgency. ”




Screenshot of meeting available on request.

*In attendance at the meeting were:

    • Bernadette Burke, Chief Executive, Childminding Ireland
    • William Martin, Vice-Chair, Coach Tourism and Transport Council
    • Teresa Heeney, CEO, Early Childhood Ireland
    • Mary O’Connor, CEO, Federation of Irish Sport
    • Justin Green, Historic Houses of Ireland
    • Jamie Farrelly, Policy and Communications Officer, Home and Community Care Ireland
    • Ruth Andrews, CEO, Incoming Tour Operators Association Ireland
    • Brendan Kenny, CEO, Ireland’s Association for Adventure Tourism
    • Con Quill, CEO, Irish Caravan and Camping Council
    • Michael Magner, Chair, Insurance Committee, Irish Hotels Federation
    • Cyril McGuinness, Irish Road Haulage Association
    • Lucy Medlycott, Director, Irish Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle Network
    • Don Bird, Irish Showmens Guild
    • Pat Dawson, CEO, Irish Travel Agents Association
    • Tadhg Daly, CEO Nursing Homes Ireland
    • Tommy Gill, CEO, Play Activity & Leisure Ireland
    • Adrian Cummins, CEO, Restaurants Association of Ireland
    • Tara Buckley, Director General, RGDATA
    • Brian Staunton, NGB Support Unit Manager, Sport Ireland
    • Padraig Cribben, Chief Executive, Vintners Federation of Ireland
    • Mel Campbell, Play Services Ireland

1Sectors, sub-sectors and groups of individuals that are struggling to get cover at all right now or are reduced to one underwriter who is effectively in a monopolist’s situation (even if this in inadvertently, because other underwriters have pulled out of the market) include:

  1. Adventure centres that deal with children
  2. Artists, arts workers and arts organisations
  3. Bike hire shops on greenways and elsewhere
  4. Bouncy castle operators
  5. Caravan & Camping Parks
  6. Car rental
  7. Childcare providers
  8. Childminders
  9. Children’s’ play centres
  10. Children’s playgrounds (non-local authority)
  11. Circuses (both community and commercial)
  12. Climbing walls
  13. Coasteering
  14. Drivers of older cars
  15. Equestrian sports
  16. Festivals and events
  17. High ropes (adventure centres)
  18. Home care providers
  19. Ice skating
  20. Incoming tour operators
  21. Independent marts
  22. Karting tracks
  23. Late night venues
  24. Minority sports
  25. Mountain biking
  26. Nursing homes
  27. Outdoor adventure centres
  28. Private scheduled buses
  29. Street artists
  30. Taxis
  31. Trampoline centres
  32. Travel agents
  33. Tyre depots
  34. Vehicle recovery operations
  35. Young drivers

The Alliance for Insurance Reform brings together 41 civic and business organisations from across Ireland, representing over 55,000 members, 700,000 employees, 614,000 volunteers and 374,000 students in highlighting the negative impact of persistently high premiums and calling for real reforms that will quickly reduce liability and motor insurance premiums to affordable levels and keep them that way. Our members include:

  • AOIFE Ireland (Association of Irish Festival Events)
  • Car Rental Council of Ireland
  • Childminding Ireland
  • Coach Tourism & Transport Council of Ireland
  • Community Reuse Network Ireland
  • Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association
  • Cork Business Association
  • Early Childhood Ireland
  • Family Business Network Ireland
  • Federation of Irish Sport
  • Galway Chamber
  • Galway City Business Association
  • Galway County Public Participation Network (PPN)
  • Home and Community Care Ireland
  • Ireland Active
  • Ireland’s Association for Adventure Tourism
  • Irish Caravan and Camping Council
  • Irish Concrete Federation
  • Irish Hotels Federation
  • Irish Road Haulage Association
  • Irish Showman’s Guild
  • Irish Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle Network
  • Irish Travel Agents Association
  • ISME
  • Licensed Vintners Association
  • Motorsport Ireland
  • National Campaign for the Arts
  • Nursing Homes Ireland
  • Play Activity and Leisure Ireland
  • Quick Service Food Alliance
  • Restaurants Association of Ireland
  • Retail Excellence
  • Sligo PPN
  • Society of the Irish Motor Industry
  • South Dublin County PPN
  • Sport Ireland
  • Union of Students in Ireland
  • Vintners Federation of Ireland
  • Volunteer Ireland
  • The Wheel (Ireland’s national association for community, voluntary and charitable organisations)

For further details contact:

Peter Boland