Mart ac­ci­dent claims must be ‘fair and ra­tio­nal’ — ICOS

Irish Independent - Farming - - FINANCE - LOUISE HO­GAN

LE­GAL pro­fes­sion­als must en­sure all cases in­volv­ing mart ac­ci­dent claims are “fair and ra­tio­nal”, a marts spokesman has urged.

And the ‘mart lock­down’ move to re­duce move­ment of peo­ple through marts has the most po­ten­tial to elim­i­nate ac­ci­dents, an ICOS meet­ing of mart man­agers has heard.

ICOS live­stock ex­ec­u­tive Ray Doyle said it has been work­ing in con­sul­ta­tion with FBD over the past three years to tackle the cost of in­sur­ance for marts.

“We are en­cour­aged by the early in­di­ca­tors of re­duced claims from marts where ro­bust health and safety and mart lock­down mea­sures are in place,” he said, point­ing out that marts were look­ing for­ward to re­duced pre­mi­ums in the near fu­ture.

His com­ments fol­low the re­cent clo­sure of Moun­trath Mart, where high in­sur­ance pre­mi­ums were a sig­nif­i­cant fac­tor in the mart’s demise.

FBD In­sur­ance’s chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer John Ca­ha­lan said im­proved health and safety mea­sures must be used by marts to re­duce the fre­quency and sever­ity of ac­ci­dents.

“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,” said Mr Doyle.

“The Gov­ern­ment 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.”

Li­a­bil­i­ties

Mr Doyle pointed out that a num­ber of marts have moved to “lock down” the premises on mart days to re­duce the po­ten­tial li­a­bil­i­ties through sell­ers, buy­ers and mem­bers of the pub­lic mov­ing near pens of an­i­mals.

He said in­creased su­per­vi­sion and as­sis­tance had a role to play dur­ing sales days in marts where the “full lock­down” has not yet been put in place.

In ad­di­tion to this, ad­di­tional train­ing has been pro­vided for staff along with new safety in­for­ma­tion and sig­nage.

“The pub­lic at­tend­ing marts must also be will­ing to play their part,” he added.

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