One in Three Publicans Report Difficulty Insuring Their Business
88% of Ireland’s publicans confirm significant increases in their insurance premiums in past two years

New research conducted amongst Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) members around the country reveals the skyrocketing insurance costs faced by small businesses in Ireland, with the vast majority (88%) of publicans stating their business insurance premium has risen in the past two years.

Of the publicans who experienced an increase in insurance costs, 39% saw an increase of between 20% and 40% and 12% had increases over 40%.

The survey also shows that at 37%, a substantial number of publicans have had difficulty in securing insurance cover for their business. Earlier this year, a report from the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) stated that insurance costs are one of the issues of “greatest concern to businesses” in this country.

However, as no comprehensive data is readily available on commercial insurance rates in Ireland, the VFI conducted this member survey to gauge if – and how – insurance premium hikes are affecting publicans on the ground.

When asked to rank the varying costs of running a pub, business insurance was cited as the cost of most major concern even ahead of commercial rates and TV subscriptions.

Meanwhile, 44% of publicans attributed the rising cost of premiums to the high legal costs involved in settling claims, while a further 27% of publicans claimed increases were solely connected to pricing policies of insurers.

Commenting on the findings, Pádraig Cribben, CEO of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland said, “The findings of our research amongst VFI members are quite alarming when you consider that over a third of publicans are having difficulty insuring their business and a staggering 88% have seen their premium increase in the last two years.

“Rising insurance premiums are yet another crippling cost publicans face in addition to a host of other costs. The reality of the situation is that these insurance costs are hampering the progress of small business owners and publicans across Ireland and it’s crucial the Government recognise this and offers its support.

“As it stands, the cost of settling insurance claims in Ireland is out of control particularly in comparison to other countries. This is having a severe knock-on effect resulting in rising insurance premiums not only for publicans but across the board.

“If claims need to be settled, the courts should be the place of last resort not first. Enhanced empowerment of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board together with an urgent review of the Book of Quantum is required now to stop this spiral of increases.”