Irelands sports organisations call for urgent reform of the insurance sector

Sport Ireland and Federation of Irish Sport are latest members to join the Alliance for Insurance Reform in fight against crippling insurance costs


The Alliance for Insurance Reform, the group which brings together representative bodies from the not-for-profit, charity, sports and small and medium-sized business sectors across Ireland, has today been joined by two major new member organisations – Sport Ireland and the Federation of Irish Sport. Both organisations are calling for an end to crippling insurance costs which have become a significant issue for sporting bodies and sports activity throughout Ireland.

Director of Participation and Ethics at Sport Ireland Una May said: “On a daily basis we are hearing how risk aversion due to the fear of claims is having a prohibitive effect on the work of our National Governing Bodies for Sport and Local Sports Partnerships. Their ability to develop new and innovative programmes to engage people in sport and increase participation in physical activity is being curtailed significantly. We are also seeing situations where organisations and groups are having difficulty in securing insurance in the first instance".

Dr May continued: “Sport Ireland has joined the Alliance for Insurance Reform as we feel that if the current trend continues, it will have a damaging effect on the sporting landscape at all levels, from major national and international events to everyday club activities. Our sporting organisations, clubs, athletes and volunteers need to be protected from the devastating impact of rising insurance costs and the fear of claims. Real and substantive change is required now.

Federation of Irish Sport CEO Mary O’Connorsaid: “The Federation of Irish Sport has joined together with the Alliance for Insurance Reform in response to our members’ concerns about rising insurance premiums.

“In a recent survey conducted by the Federation, 97% of our members revealed that their insurance premiums have gone up in the last 5 years on average by 45%. In one instance a member’s insurance has gone up by 108% in that time frame. Insurance is becoming an increasing burden for all our sporting bodies and will continue to have a negative impact on the delivery of sport and physical activity opportunities in Ireland and the situation urgently needs to be addressed.

Based on these concerns we have acted to represent our sporting bodies at the table of the Alliance for Insurance Reform in the hope of seeing meaningful and lasting change made to address these ever-increasing costs. We are committed to working with our members and those involved in the insurance industry to make the necessary changes so that sport can continue to function at its best in Ireland”.

Peter Boland, spokesperson for the Alliance for Insurance Reform, said:“It is a damning indictment of Ireland’s insurance crisis that two significant national sporting bodies feel obliged to join our Alliance.
Crippling insurance costs are pervasive across all areas of Irish society and despite the varied make-up of our Alliance members, one common thing is threatening their ability to function day to day - rising insurance premiums.

“The slow pace of reform to address the insurance crisis is seriously threatening the survival of these bodies’ members and countless other civic, voluntary and business groups yet we still haven’t seen any real changes that will reduce premiums for policy holders.”

Boland added: “Despite all the promises we have heard, we have yet to see tangible evidence of reforms that will make a real difference. Reforms like the establishment of a fully-funded and resourced Garda response to fraudulent claims, a meaningful reduction in the level of general damages being awarded for minor, fully-recovered injuries or a commitment from the insurance industry to quantify the scale of promised premium reductions.”

With the arrival of the Federation of Irish Sport and Sport Ireland, the Alliance for Insurance Reform now brings together 28 civic and business organisations from across Ireland, representing over 36,000 members, 640,000 employees and 493,000 volunteers in demanding rapid action to end crippling insurance costs.


Notes to editors:

About the Alliance for Insurance Reform:

The Alliance brings together 28 civic and business organisations from across Ireland, representing over 36,000 members, 640,000 employees and 493,000 volunteers in highlighting the negative impact of persistently high premiums and calling for real action to tackle the issue. Its members include:

• AOIFE Ireland (Association of Irish Festival Events)
• Car Rental Council of Ireland
• Coach Tourism & Transport Council of Ireland
• Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association
• Federation of Irish Sport
• Galway City Business Association
• Galway County Public Participation Network (PPN)
• Ireland Active
• Ireland's Association for Adventure Tourism
• Irish Hotels Federation
• Irish Road Haulage Association
• Irish Showman's Guild
• Irish Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle Network
• Irish Travel Agents Association
• ISME
• Licensed Vintners Association
• Motorsport Ireland
• Nursing Homes Ireland
• Playcentres Ireland
• Quick Service Food Alliance
• Restaurants Association of Ireland
• Retail Excellence
• RGDATA
• Sligo PPN
• Society of the Irish Motor Industry
• Sport Ireland
• Vintners Federation of Ireland
• The Wheel (Ireland's national association for community, voluntary and charitable organisations)


About Sport Ireland / SpórtÉireann:

Sport Ireland is the statutory authority tasked with the development of sport in Ireland.
Its remit ranges from encouraging excellence in competitive sport to facilitating increased participation in recreational sport throughout the population. Its long-standing vision for sport is one where: sport contributes to enhancing the quality of Irish life and everyone is encouraged and valued in sport; young people see sport participation as an integral and enjoyable part of their busy lives; individuals can develop their sporting abilities and enhance their enjoyment, limited only by their talent and commitment; Irish sportsmen and women achieve consistent world-class performance, fairly.

Sport Ireland’s function includes participation in sport, high performance sport, anti-doping, coaching, the Sport Ireland Institute and the development of the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus.