The ‘madness’ of residents’ associations being charged more than €3,000 in Dundalk for a field in their estate has to stop, Deputy Ruairí Ó Murchú has told the Dáil.
The Dundalk TD was speaking during a debate with Minister Sean Fleming about public liability insurance and what the government is doing to bring it down.
Deputy Ó Murchú said: ‘We all know it is a disaster. Many companies and organisations cannot get public liability insurance at all or if they are offered such insurance, the premium is terrible.
‘What engagement has the Minister of State had with the industry on this? We need to see action and we need to see prices coming down’.
Minister Fleming said more than 80% of the actions laid down in the plan for insurance reform have been ‘done at governmental level’ but ‘others require implementation through the courts and are related to legislation passed’.
He said: ‘Some of the insurance companies wanted to see the outcome of those test cases. That will now give a level of certainty. Settlements were being held back while the outcome of those cases was awaited. I am confident the judiciary will stand by its own guidelines.
‘The other issue is duty of care legislation, which was cleared by the Government recently. I expect that legislation to go through the Oireachtas this year.
‘Finally, some new players are entering the market and these new insurance companies are beginning to help in some of the areas that had difficulties’.
Deputy Ó Murchú said he was ‘delighted to hear that more players are coming into the market but the duty of care legislation ‘is an absolute necessity’.
He said: ‘I have spoken previously about a community centre in Blackrock in Dundalk that was quoted a premium of between €10,000 and €11,000, which is absolutely mad.
‘My local residents’ association was quoted €3,200 because it has responsibility for a field in the middle of a housing estate. This is absolutely mad stuff and we really need to bring it to an end.
‘I have spoken previously about insurance for those in the entertainment sector. At this point in time, none of the companies that offer bouncy castles for hire has insurance and that needs to be rectified’.
Minister Fleming said: ‘The situation with regard to play and activity groups is that a new American company has set up in Ireland in recent weeks and is moving into that market. The company has already met the national body for those groups and has, through a broker, offered policies from their next renewal date.
‘The Central Bank will issue a report next week on public liability and employers’ liability’.
Deputy Ó Murchú said he was following up with Minister Fleming in relation to the issues raised.