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Ray Doyle, Livestock Services Executive

ICOS and FBD Insurance plc today announced their intention to work together to address insurance costs for marts.

At the ICOS bi-monthly mart managers’ meeting held in The Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise, FBD Chief Commercial Officer, John Cahalan, along with Stewart Gavin, FBD Agri-Underwriting manager and FBD Risk Manager Ciaran Roche presented FBD’s mart claims experience and challenges over the last 5 years in relation to mart claims to attending mart managers.

FBD also communicated that although in its infancy, Mart Lockdown where implemented and enforced holds most potential to eliminate the accidents which have occurred with most frequency on mart premises. John Cahalan acknowledged the challenges facing marts but reaffirmed FBD’s commitment to work with ICOS to reduce the frequency and severity of accidents occurring on their premises.

ICOS Livestock & Environmental Services Executive Ray Doyle said:

“We have been working in consultation with FBD over the past 3 years to seek solutions which will help to tackle the cost of insurance for marts and we look forward to continuing this process.

“Insurance premiums are a function of the risk profile, liabilities and claims arising within a particular sector. I am confident that the measures being taken collectively by marts throughout Ireland will help to enhance overall health and safety while reducing cost, claim severity and the frequency of accidents.  Mart lockdown has a role to play in this regard, and so too does increased supervision and assistance during sale days in marts where full lock down has not yet been enacted.

“Over the past year, marts have been implementing extra measures to further reduce health and safety risks. All ICOS mart drovers already receive professional training in livestock management including health and safety. Additional training has been provided for our staff along with safety information, new signage and announcements advising patrons that safety comes first.

“The public attending marts must also be willing to play their part in a changed health and safety landscape and co-operate fully with mart staff and with any new procedures that are in place.

“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.  Through our continuing engagement with FBD, we remain confident that a balance can be established where everyone must work together collectively to address our mutual concerns.”

“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.

“We are encouraged by the early indicators of reduced claims from marts where robust health and safety and mart lockdown measures are in place, which was communicated today by FBD, and we look forward to reduced premiums in the not so distant future when claims reduce through the various measures that are being taken.”

Speaking at the meeting, FBD Insurance’s Chief Commercial Officer John Cahalan said:

“FBD Insurance is Ireland’s only remaining indigenous Irish insurer and we have been protecting Irish families, businesses, and farms for 50 years. Unlike many of our competitors, local communities including marts are central to our company ethos for being a community Insurer.

We are thankful for the opportunity to address mart managers and are committed to working with ICOS to address insurance costs for marts. Improved health & safety measures along with mart lockdown must be considered by marts to reduce the frequency and severity of accidents. Everyone at FBD looks forward to a situation where claims reduce on mart premises and we can in turn reduce insurance costs for marts”

ICOS (the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society) represents over 130
co-operatives in Ireland – including the Irish dairy processing co- operatives and livestock marts – whose associated businesses have a combined turnover in the region of €14 billion, with some 150,000 individual members, employing 12,000 people in Ireland, and a further 24,000 people overseas.