Deputy Jackie Cahill: companies could close on a permanently
Fianna Fáil TD for Tipperary Jackie Cahill is warning that businesses across the county will close for good unless insurance companies pay out compensation to companies forced to close as a result of the coronavirus.
Deputy Cahill says he’s been contacted by a number of business owners frustrated that their insurance companies are not acting in good faith and are refusing to pay compensation.
“This is very worrying time for businesses owners and their employees, with small businesses, shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants across Tipperary forced to close. People genuinely don’t know when or even if they will return to their jobs,” said Deputy Cahill.
The Thurles TD said that what was even more frustrating was the fact that insurance companies appeared to be taking advantage of the situation and were refusing to pay compensation to businesses with Business Interruption and Infectious Disease cover.
"Insurers appear to be looking for technicalities to give them an excuse not to pay out," he said.
Deputy Cahill said that he was extremely disappointed by the approach that these insurance companies were taking - SMEs are being told that they don’t qualify for compensation because they weren’t forced by the Government to close, and those with Infectious Disease cover are being told a pandemic was not included or Covid-19 was not listed on their policy.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our country. Their owners are taking a safe and sensible approach to the Covid-19 pandemic, acting in the best interests of their communities by closing and trying to contain the spread of the virus, and yet they are being penalised by the insurance companies," said Deputy Cahill.
While he appreciate that this was an unprecedented time for the insurance industry and it can’t cover all loss of earnings, it did have a duty to pay out to those with eligible policies and to offer some support to other SMEs by potentially suspending premiums while businesses were closed, he said.
“Fianna Fáil is calling on Minister Donohoe to sit down with the CEOs of the large insurance companies this week to try and resolve this matter. Unless action is taken, businesses in Tipperary, and right across the country may be forced to close for good,” said Deputy Cahill.