The increase in commercial motor insurance premiums was the hot topic under discussion at the recent FTA Ireland National Council meeting held in Dublin.

Members reported receiving premium increases of 50%, with some being asked for up to 70% more than their 2014/15 renewal, and referred to the motor insurance market hardening, with an apparent reduction in the number of commercial insurers in Ireland.

FTA Ireland General Manager – Neil McDonnell said: “The message was loud and clear from FTA Ireland Council members, who said that they did not feel across-the-board motor insurance increases were fair or justified.”

“Most FTA Ireland transport companies are members of our Accreditation Scheme. To become accredited operators, they have had to demonstrate high standards of compliance in road transport legislation, safe loading, driver qualification and competence, professional competence and vehicle roadworthiness.”

Chris Smyth, National Council Chairman and Commercial Director of Perennial Freight added: “Perennial Freight support FTAI’s call on behalf of the members for real discussion and review within the commercial underwriting sector for our industry, to achieve more reflective premiums for compliant road hauliers who have adopted a good attitude to best practice and support good internal risk management.”

The FTAI Council has tasked the Association with setting up a working group to engage robustly with the insurance industry. The group has already completed a working paper identifying the major issues facing commercial operators.

Mr McDonnell concluded: “The next phase will be the development of a paper outlining the policy responses we expect from all parties (including vehicle operators, the State, and insurers), in order to prevent spiralling insurance premiums. In the meantime, on behalf of our members, FTA Ireland calls on insurers to take into account the extensive risk mitigation measures being employed by accredited operators at renewal time.”