Hoteliers Call For Urgent Action On Rising Insurance Costs
The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) is calling for urgent action by the Government to address the spiraling cost of insurance. New research¹ amongst its members shows that some 62% have seen further hikes in insurance costs over the last 12 months. Of these, the average increase in premiums was 28% year on year. This is in addition to substantial increases in recent years.
Some 90% of hotels and guesthouses say they are concerned about the impact of insurance costs on their business. IHF President, Michael Lennon says: “These increases are unsustainable. Exorbitant insurance costs are curtailing the ability of hotels and guesthouses to re-invest in their businesses with knock-on effects for the tourism industry.” “Slow progress by the Government is contributing to a ‘claims culture’ which is getting out of control. This poses an enormous challenge for businesses and wider society. The time for foot dragging has passed. We need decisive action by Government to tackle insurance costs, particularly in relation to the handling of personal injury cases in Ireland and the excessive levels of awards being made which are four to five times higher than in the UK.” Mr Lennon is calling on the Government to give greater urgency to setting up the Judicial Council to review levels of awards for personal injuries. “Awards for soft tissue injuries must be brought down significantly in line with international norms,” he says. Furthermore, Mr Lennon states that a zero tolerance approach to fraud is required in order to create an effective deterrent against exaggerated or misleading claims. “It is vital that a dedicated Garda resource is created specifically tasked with investigating fraudulent cases for potential prosecution.”