Hoteliers welcome Insurance Reform
The Irish Hotels Federation has welcomed the publication of the Government’s Action Plan for Insurance Reform. Tim Fenn, Chief Executive, said that the plan, if fully implemented, the plan would hopefully address the many issues raised by the IHF.
'We urge the Government to maintain the momentum around reform. Exaggerated and misleading insurance claims have been the scourge of many businesses, and hotels in particular. For far too long such claims have driven up costs and impacted competitiveness, which our sector can no longer afford.”
Mr Fenn welcomed the planned introduction of guidelines for the appropriate level of personal injury awards, in place of the current Book of Quantum. “It is imperative that these guidelines bring much-needed consistency while also giving some certainty as to the likely cost of taking a claim to court. These guidelines should encourage insurance companies to defend exaggerated and spurious claims in court, rather than settling as continues to happen. This has been to the detriment of businesses including hotels in recent years, resulting in excessive and unjustifiable insurance premiums.
“The exorbitant levels of awards and lack of consistency has made Ireland less attractive for insurers. This in turn has reduced competition in the insurance market and driven up costs, diminishing our competitiveness, which is ultimately borne by the consumer. At the beginning of this year, we still had a significant number of hotels paying over €1,000 per room. For an industry that has been devastated by Covid-19 restrictions, that level of cost is completely unsustainable.”
Commenting on the Government’s plans to place perjury on a statutory footing, and ensure enhanced cooperation between An Garda Síochána and the insurance industry, Mr Fenn said that a zero tolerance approach to fraud is required in order to create an effective deterrent. “We have no issue whatsoever with genuine claims where guests are rightly and properly compensated. However, at present, the scales of justice seem to be tipped against businesses seeking to rightly defend themselves in court against spurious claims, and this cannot continue.
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