Sinn Féin Mayo TD, Rose Conway-Walsh, has called on the Finance Minister to investigate the insurance industry substantially increasing insurance premiums for business for attempting to claim under ‘business disruption’ because of Covid.
Teachta Conway-Walsh said:
“I have been contacted by a number of businesses owners that have been quoted huge increases in their insurance premiums.
“One case of a local business in Belmullet has seen their insurance premiums go from just €1,200 in 2020 to over €4,000 for 2021.
“Those kinds of extortionate increases would be crippling at the best of times. But to try and find that kind of money when you have seen such long closures will be impossible for many.
“This seems to be a direct response to making a claim under business interruption because of Covid.
“I raised the issue with the Minister. He cannot sit back if insurance companies are punishing businesses for attempting to make a claim as they are entitled to do.
“I was very disappointed by the Minister’s answer. While I accept that are limits to a government’s power to intervene, for him to completely wash his hands of the issue is unacceptable.
“We could potentially have a situation where a business sees huge hikes in premiums for making a claim that may or may not be successful.
“We have seen the industry resist passing on any saving resulting from lockdown to people on their motor insurance.
“We have seen insurance companies try to deduct state supports from insurance claim. An outlandish attempt to turn business supports into insurance industry subsidies.
“There is clearly a view within the insurance industry that they can get away with what they want. This attitude has been encouraged by successive compliant governments that have failed to hold the industry to account.”