Frank O’Rourke TD has said that the crippling cost of business insurance is leading to closures of nightclubs, marts, leisure and childcare facilities across the country.

Deputy O’Rourke was commenting following reports of business insurance and public liability costs increasing by up to eight fold.

Deputy O’Rourke explained, “Having spoken to businesses and Kildare Chamber of Commerce, I am aware that insurance premiums for some owners have increased by a multiple of eight. That is completely unacceptable and is not sustainable. “SMEs, who bear the brunt of these increases, make such a contribution to their local economies but the increase in insurance coupled with other increases which they have encountered over recent years, is proving too much for many and they are considering closing. “

“To add insult to injury, we recently learned that three of the country’s main insurance companies made a combined profit of almost €200m in 2018. They are raking it in by imposing huge premiums on consumers for their home, motor and business insurance. “While I accept that the personal injury awards are far too high in Ireland and that they are a key contributor to the rising insurance costs, I do not accept insurance companies not passing on some of their profits to their customers. “

“The reason the situation is out of control is due to the lack of delivery by the Government, they have not implemented the recommendations of the Cost of Insurance Working Group. The long promised Judicial Council which will set limits for claims is nowhere to be seen and the national claims database and a dedicated Garda insurance fraud unit is yet to be set up. “

“The Fianna Fáil Party recently put forward a motion calling on the Government to take a number of steps to address rising insurance costs – I believe it is high time this Government takes our steps seriously. This needs to stop before we see the closure of more businesses and further job losses”, concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

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