Highland Radio Broadcast 1st May 2020

This week’s show was broadcast from the Ramelton office with some wide and varied areas covered. The initial focus was on the need for support, our contributor Seamus Gunn highlighting the approach being adopted by the insurance industry on refunds of premiums, particularly for car policy holders. Seamus Gunn expressed a strong view that it was totally inadequate to refund a policy holder some € 30.00, the sum announced midweek by two companies, which he described as minuscule in comparison to the profits being garnered annually by the industry from motorists. He gave the example of a premium for a young person averaging at around € 1,000.00 to € 1,200.00 against a backdrop where the level of claims is vastly reduced during this current 12 week Covid period, that there should be a commensurate reduction in keeping with the saving being achieved by the industry, to include premiums for public and occupier’s liability.

He said that this should go hand in hand with concessions on business interruption cover and that such claims should not be resisted where cover is in place, which could make the difference in a business reopening or remaining closed after the restrictions have been lifted. He said that this was in addition to all the government supports that are in place at the moment but that the insurance industry should now step up to the plate and show some largess in order to establish some good will with the consumers. He said that for too long they had been beating the drum of exaggerated and fraudulent claims which was constantly reported in the media with little emphasis on the profits, referring to 2017 when profits in excess of € 200 million were achieved. The position in the UK with regard to commercial rates being abolished for 2020 was also mentioned as an area that could be looked at by government but keeping in mind the cost to the exchequer. The insurance question and in particular the business interruption is likely to give rise to a lot more discussion before the Covid pandemic passes.

Seamus also answers the listeners’ questions regarding the strength of warranties in the sale of defective motor vehicles and the capital acquisitions tax thresholds applicable in gift/inheritance situations.

Listen to Part 1 of the interview here…

Listen to Part 2 of the interview here…

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