It is well known that insurance premiums have sky-rocketed particularly in the past 12 to 18 months placing individuals and families in even tougher financial straights. This situation is worsening and something needs to be done.
I had a constituent this week who has been driving for over 30 years. He has a full clean driving license and has never had an accident, claim or even a penalty point. His new start-up business is now jeopardized as he could not even get a quote until last Tuesday for his jeep and catering trailer. This man had invested in a catering trailer, jeep and several pieces of equipment only to discover that his insurer would not quote him because he wanted to pull a catering trailer on his commercial jeep. He tried almost 20 brokers and couldn’t get a quote. He tried several insurers directly and could not get a quote.
E ventually he received a quote from an insurer after a long day of fighting tooth and nail for a quote. The quote for this man with a spotless record was just €50 shy of €5000. A completely ridiculous quote for someone with a pristine driving record. He now has to reconsider if he will continue with his business as the insurance costs are too high.
This specific case is only the most recent one whereby small business people are essentially either being stopped getting into business or put out of business due to soaring insurance costs. I’m being contacted every day by small business owners in distress. I fear serious job losses could be looming if this matter is not addressed in some way shape or form. The negative economic impact of soaring insurance costs goes far beyond the initial price hikes individuals and businesses are faced with. The knock on costs are staggering. This problem is not isolated to those reliant on motor insurance such as transport firms. Retailers are the subject of stark insurance hikes also.
Due to opportunistic and fraudulent claims – which most insurers pay out on to save a costly legal battle, perfectly compliant businesses who are not in the wrong, are subjected to staggering insurance premium increases. Action must be taken by industry and by government to address not just fraudulent claims but also to limit the value of genuine claims. As long as we have people making astronomical insurance claims we are going to have rising insurance prices. Rising insurance premiums are bad for business, bad for job growth and need to be tackled.