Measures highlighted in helping reduce mart insurance costs

Tackling mart insurance costs was announced as the stated intention for both FBD and the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS) today (Monday, February 4).

This will require combined efforts on a number of fronts to improve mart safety and reduce risks, according to both groups.

At the ICOS bi-monthly mart managers’ meeting held in the Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise, a number of FBD’s top brass presented the firm’s mart claims experience and challenges over the last five years in relation to mart claims to attending mart managers.

These included the company’s chief commercial officer, John Cahalan, along with Stewart Gavin, FBD agri-underwriting manager and FBD risk manager Ciaran Roche.

The firm also communicated that, although in its infancy, ‘Mart Lockdown’ where implemented and enforced holds most potential to eliminate the accidents which have occurred with most frequency on mart premises.

Cahalan acknowledged the challenges facing marts but reaffirmed FBD’s commitment to work with ICOS to reduce the frequency and severity of accidents occurring on their premises.

ICOS livestock and environmental services executive Ray Doyle expressed his confidence in Irish marts taking the required measures to “help to enhance overall health and safety while reducing cost, claim severity and the frequency of accidents”.

‘Function of risk profile’

“Insurance premiums are a function of the risk profile, liabilities and claims arising within a particular sector.

“Mart Lockdown has a role to play in this regard, and so too does increased supervision and assistance during sale days in marts where full lock-down has not yet been enacted.

“Additional training has been provided for our staff along with safety information, new signage and announcements advising patrons that safety comes first.

The public attending marts must also be willing to play their part in a changed health and safety landscape and co-operate fully with mart staff and with any new procedures that are in place.

“The marts sector cannot operate in an environment of unsustainable premiums and, conversely, the largest insurance provider into the marts sector cannot be expected to subsidise claims arising at a significant and recurring loss to them, which we acknowledge is the case.

“Through our continuing engagement with FBD, we remain confident that a balance can be established where everyone must work together collectively to address our mutual concerns.”

Doyle said that the Government also has a key role to play in helping to reduce insurance claims.

“It is essential that the recommendations of the insurance working group report on Employment Liability Practices are enacted.

Various professions advising potential claimants also have a responsibility to ensure that all proposed claims are entirely fair and rational.

“We are encouraged by the early indicators of reduced claims from marts where robust health and safety and mart lockdown measures are in place, which was communicated today by FBD.

“We look forward to reduced premiums in the not-so-distant future when claims reduce through the various measures that are being taken.”

Cahalan also commented, adding: “Local communities including marts are central to our company ethos for being a community insurer.”

He added that FBD is “committed to working with ICOS to address insurance costs for marts”.

Improved health and safety measures along with Mart Lockdown must be considered by marts to reduce the frequency and severity of accidents.

“Everyone at FBD looks forward to a situation where claims reduce on mart premises and we can in turn reduce insurance costs for marts,” Cahalan said.