Cork hotelier seeks further insurance reforms

Cork hotelier seeks further insurance reforms

Michael Magner, owner of the Vienna Woods Hotel in Glanmire. Picture: Howard Crowdy

CORK hotelier Michael Magner has called on the government to deliver further reforms and legislation to help bring down insurance premium costs.

Mr Magner, who owns the Vienna Woods Hotel in Glanmire, was commenting in the wake of the Judicial Council vote this morning to reduce awards for minor personal injuries.

In his role as chairman of the Irish Hotel Federation’s insurance committee, Mr Magner said: ““The Government must now fast track the reform of the Personal Injuries Insurance Board (PIAB) and enact duty of care and perjury legislation. 

"They must also provide the necessary resources for An Garda Síochána so they can address the serious issue of insurance fraud.” 

He said reductions of up to 80% reductions are required to bring Ireland back to international norms.

“Insurers have to play their part now and reduce insurance premiums in line with cuts in levels of awards," Mr Magner continued. "They must also adopt a more robust and concerted approach in defending 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 have also made Ireland less attractive for insurers. 

"This must be addressed as it has reduced competition in the insurance market and driven up costs, diminishing our competitiveness, which is ultimately borne by the consumer.” 

Today’s Judicial Council decision has been welcomed by the government. 

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said: “The overriding concern is to address with urgency the economic impacts on businesses and consumers of high insurance costs, while ensuring fair compensation when someone is injured through no fault of their own. It is my hope that the new Guidelines will bring consistency, reduce litigation and reduce awards, which are a major driver of insurance costs.” 

She continued: “The guidelines will of course require further consideration in the coming days and I will report on the implementation of the guidelines and the initial impact they have by the end of the year. I want to commend the Personal Injuries Committee, and the Judicial Council, for progressing this important matter in the area of insurance reform. This is an important part of our Action Plan for Insurance Reform, which we published in December.”

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