Mart insurance: Athlone meeting postponed until later date
A meeting to discuss the rising insurance costs at marts which was due to be held at the Hodson Bay Hotel in Athlone on Thursday, March 7 has been postponed.
The event – which will be rescheduled in the coming weeks – was in response to rising insurance premiums and efforts by mart managers to mobilise themselves to deal with the matter in an effective way.
Manager of Donegal Livestock Mart Eimear McGuinness – who is leading the charge on the initiative – said the meeting was postponed to allow for all marts to provide the information needed to compile the facts with regard to mart insurance.
McGuinness is also preparing to address the Public Finance Committee for the second time next month and the mart insurance saga was raised once again in the Dail yesterday (February 26).
While we have received a lot of information from marts across the country, there are still some marts that have yet to forward their details.
She continued: “In an effort to afford those marts the opportunity to provide the necessary details, the meeting has been postponed until all the data is collected,” said McGuinness.
McGuinness claims that mart managers were “discouraged” from providing the necessary information and as a result of that the process she had undertaken “was slowed down”.
Last month, in a letter to mart managers, McGuinness asked that they provide details on a number of matters.
These included: confirmed five year claims experience – this should be requested directly from current insurer or through the broker; settled figures and where claims are not settled the outstanding estimates/provisions should be given; wage roll (by category); and turnover.
McGuinness continued: “Despite the fact that we are still waiting for a number of marts to get back to us, I am very happy with the details that have been provided so far.
“This information will help us all to get a better understanding of everything that is going on and will enable us to identify where the problems are. Once we get to that point we can then work towards a solution.”
The Donegal Livestock Mart manager went on to say that she has had “positive discussions” with a number of insurance companies in recent weeks.
McGuinness also pointed out that she is happy to see the mart insurance issue being raised and debated regularly in the Dail.
The Irish Government and the insurance companies all have a role to play in this.
She continued: “We are going to keep going on this issue and there is still time for the marts that have to provide their information to us to do so.
“It has also been noted that, as marts examine their renewals, an excess has been placed on premiums where there had not been an excess before.
“All we want is to provide a clear and accurate picture of the situation so we can all work together to find a solution.”