The high cost of public liability insurance and how it is hampering activities for community and sporting groups was raised again in Leinster House last week by Deputy Ruairí Ó Murchú.
The Sinn Féin TD was speaking during a debate on the Personal Injuries Resolution Board Bill 2022. He said he broadly welcomed the bill, which would create a framework that it is hoped would lead to reduced premiums and a ‘functioning insurance market’.
He said he would ‘like to think that people would avail of mediation to keep cases out of logjammed courts’.
But the problem of public liability insurance remains, Deputy Ó Murchú said.
He said: ‘If we are talking just about public liability insurance, we know there are businesses that can only semi-operate some of the services they operated previously. Some cannot afford to do otherwise.
‘We talk about the cost-of-living crisis and we know the issues we have with accommodation, whether personal or business.
‘One of the major costs that have hampered everything from businesses to community organisations to community premises and all sorts of sporting groups and so on is the high price of public liability insurance.
‘That is where offers can be made. Anyone who has been at a public event recently would be shocked to see full use of a bouncy castle. We know that is a particular issue’.
There are not enough players in the market, he said.
He said: ‘We know there are still legislative moves the Government needs to deal with. We know the whole area of duty of care needs to be done and dusted.
‘We need to get to a place where I am not dealing with community centres being quoted €11,000 or €12,000 for insurance premiums.
‘Generally, we find out that there may be a claim, but the claim probably relates to four different outfits. It relates to a company, building or community voluntary organisation and it will not even matter at the end of the day.
‘They will all deal with increased premiums. It will not be down to the one person who would be seen to be accountable. That is without even getting into the rights and wrongs of particular cases.
‘The Minister of State has a lot of work to do to deal with the whole area of insurance’.