Marts in­surer ‘los­ing 140pc ev­ery year’ as live­stock ac­ci­dent claims drive up costs

Irish Independent - - News - Cather­ine Hur­ley

AC­CI­DENT claims at marts are driv­ing the cost of in­sur­ance to be a loss-mak­ing busi­ness and some­thing needs to change, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of FBD has said.

Fiona Mul­doon said FBD in­sures the vast ma­jor­ity of the marts here, but it is los­ing 140pc on av­er­age by tak­ing them on.

“By in­sur­ing marts, on av­er­age, we are los­ing 140pc ev­ery year, this is not sus­tain­able and needs to change,” she told the re­cent ICOS con­fer­ence.

Ac­cord­ing to FBD, the most com­mon cause of li­a­bil­ity claims at marts are in­juries caused by live­stock.

Ciaran Roche, risk man­ager with FBD, said one of the more com­mon ac­ci­dents at marts hap­pens when cat­tle are be­ing loaded and un­loaded and can kick or crush peo­ple.

An­other com­mon claim, he said, was in­ci­dents in­volv­ing gates hit­ting a mem­ber of the pub­lic or an em­ployee.

He also said peo­ple with their arms up on bar­ri­ers around the main mart ring were more likely to be in­volved in an ac­ci­dent and mak­ing a claim.

Many mart man­agers voiced their con­cerns about how the ris­ing price of in­sur­ance was plac­ing more pres­sure on marts and mak­ing it harder for them to stay open.

“Marts will be­come an­other part of the lo­cal com­mu­nity to go if there isn’t some­thing to be done to save them. We’ve al­ready seen the lo­cal post of­fices close and pubs shut­ting down left right and cen­tre – is this the fu­ture of the mart?” said one mart of­fi­cial at the con­fer­ence.

Mart Co-op boards across the coun­try are con­sid­er­ing a se­ries of rec­om­men­da­tions drawn up to help re­duce ac­ci­dent risk lev­els and lower in­sur­ance pre­mi­ums, with many marts in the west al­ready im­ple­ment­ing reg­u­la­tions.

Among the risk-re­duc­ing rec­om­men­da­tions be­ing con­sid­ered in­clude en­sur­ing mem­bers of the pub­lic do not have ac­cess to the pen­ning ar­eas and cen­tral pas­sage­ways.

It is also look­ing at mak­ing it com­pul­sory that all mart staff wear jack­ets for clearer iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.

In ad­di­tion, mart drovers would su­per­vise all load­ing and un­load­ing of cat­tle and the back ramp would be opened and closed by the farmer rather than mart staff.

An­other mea­sure is to re­strict view­ing times of the cat­tle on sale..

Change: Fiona Mul­doon, FBD chief ex­ec­u­tive

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