Lorraine Higgins, head of public affairs at Retail Excellence Ireland (REI ), has called for the terms of the current inquiry into the insurance industry to be broadened to include retail and hospitality premises, in order to reduce business costs and increase competitiveness.
Earlier this year, Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Eoghan Murphy, established an inquiry into motor claims and is setting up a database of motor insurance claims which will be shared by insurance companies. These details will also be made available to An Garda Síochána and other relevant bodies.
Lorraine Higgins said: “Minister Eoghan Murphy took a very proactive step in helping to reduce insurance costs by establishing this inquiry in the first instance. However, when the inquiry was set up it should have been done with fair terms of reference encompassing all retail and hospitality premises, who are certainly not immune from bogus claims. Restricting the focus of the inquiry to motor insurance claims is to miss an opportunity to help protect the retail and hospitality industries, which may very well see a reactionary spike in claims as a consequence of the remit of the inquiry.
“Our members are of the view that insurance price hikes need to be reined in because increases in business costs are causing retailers to think twice about business growth plans, which has a consequential effect on job creation. Therefore, it is imperative that we tackle the rising costs of insurance for our members and the best way to achieve this is through the extension of the inquiry to cover all claims on retail and hospitality premises, or at the very least for the inquiry to seek an input from all representative organisations in our industry.”