RGDATA, the representative association for independent food and convenience shops and supermarkets throughout the country, has expressed “deep disappointment” with the Government’s Action Plan for Insurance Reform published earlier today.
RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley commented:
“RGDATA has been campaigning for specific measures that will bring down the totally unsustainable cost of shop insurance since 2015 – yet here we are again with yet another Government report full of vague promises about actions – many with no timescale and others that won’t be delivered for a further 12 months or more.
“It is over four years since Cost of Insurance Working Group was set up and we still have high costs and a Government Report talking about “monitoring personal injury levels” and “examining” dual pricing and “reviewing” the Occupiers Liability Act. When will the Government realise that the time is over for monitoring, reviewing and examining insurance costs is over? We need to see cost reductions, lower premiums, and accountability now”.
A single award winning fine food convenience store paying €120,000 a year for shop insurance can’t wait another yet year for the insurance premium to come down. Like the many other small businesses in the hospitality and services sectors and the community, sports, heritage and youth services around the country we need actual reforms that reduce the cost of claims and insurance premiums not more rhetoric and vague promises.”
RGDATA is particularly disappointed that promises to deal with the onerous, unfair and unbalanced Duty of Care put on property owners are not being delivered. RGDATA got legal specialists to draft up the simple changes required to make the system fairer and when we circulated them to the sub- committee we were promised that the Department of Justice would be back to the Sub Committee with proposals on Duty of Care reform by Christmas.
This report only refers to “examining changes to the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1995” with a view to “strengthening notices and waivers to increase protections for consumers; business” and the deadline for the Department of Justice “indicating preferences for changes” has been pushed out to February 2021 with the actual proposals not due to be made until June 2021. Everyone who deals with legislative reform in this country knows that that means we will not have any changes to the legislation until late 2021 at the earliest.
“That will be far too late for the many businesses and groups impacted by this issue. Hundreds of businesses will close and out of control insurance costs will be one of the key reasons.”