A survey carried out by the Alliance for Insurance Reform (AIR) has found that insurance premiums for businesses and voluntary groups have increased by an average of 15% since late April.
The group has been running the survey, which covers more than 450 organisations, since the implementation of new Personal Injury Guidelines for personal-injury awards on 24 April.
AIR says that premiums for homecare businesses have more than doubled on renewal, while nursing homes are seeing average increases of 35%.
Hospitality premiums are up another 9%, according to the group, despite a significant drop in the level of activity in the sector.
Risks ‘have plummeted’
A follow-on survey found that almost half of charities, voluntary and community organisations that responded had seen increases of over 10% in their liability insurance. This was carried out by The Wheel, an AIR member organisation that represents charities and voluntary groups.
Respondents reported an average reduction in private motor-insurance renewals of around 10%, consistent with official figures for the same period.
Eoin McCambridge (managing director of McCambridge’s of Galway and AIR director) said that the total number of liability-related personal-injury claims had fallen by 47% over the 11 years between 2009 and 2019, and by another 16% last year.
“The risk associated with each and every insurance premium has plummeted in the last year and a half,” he added, citing a series of measures – including the dramatic reduction in economic and social activity over the past 19 months, the start of the Perjury Act, and the exclusion of COVID-19 from many insurance policies.
Call for more competition
Last week, figures from the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) showed that personal-injury awards had declined by 40% since the introduction of new Judicial Council guidelines in April.
Tracy Sheridan (AIR director and owner of Kidspace play centres) warned that insurance premiums had to come down significantly, if the economy and society as a whole was going to recover from the pandemic.
Another AIR director, Peter Boland, called on the Government to improve competition by getting additional underwriters into the market, as the incumbent insurers “cannot be relied upon to pass on savings”.
Insurance Ireland told RTÉ that the market for employers’ liability (EL) and public liability (PL) had been loss-making for a number of years and remained very challenging.
"The reality is that the number of insurers providing El and PL cover in the Irish market has been reducing because of these challenges," Insurance Ireland said.