Refused Public Liability Insurance - Now What

M_Joyce

Registered User
Messages
10
Hoping someone can help me.

I'm a self employed electrician in business 23 years.

Last year a customer sued me for damages. I dispute that I caused the damage but that's neither here nor there right now.

My public liability insurance company are paying the customers claim but have refused to renew me because they say they are pulling out of the market.

My broker rang around and says no one else will touch me because of my outstanding claim.

Without public liability insurance I'm effectively out of business. I have no other skills and a wife & family to support.

Is there anything I can do? I'm distraught as you can imagine.

M
 

eirman

Registered User
Messages
98
Try another broker.
Get one that can get you a quote from a UK company (e.g. LLOYDS)

Perhaps the Insurance Federation can help http://www.insuranceireland.eu
01-6761914

Could you come to a private arrangement with your customer (whereby they withdraw their claim)

You could even resort to contacting a politician!
 
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M_Joyce

Registered User
Messages
10
Thanks Eirman

The amount of the claim is beyond what I could reasonably pay otherwise I'd do that.

Do you know any specific brokers that specialise in cover from the UK? I wouldn't know where to start.

Is there any kind of protection for public liability insurance, like with car insurance where someone has to quote me?

I'll ring the insurance federation on Monday but just wondering if anyone on here knows specifically what kind of protection, if any, I have.

Surely places like McDonald's get sued all the time and don't get put out of business.

I don't understand what the point of having insurance was if one claim with decades of a clean record can potentially put me under.
 

RichInSpirit

Registered User
Messages
931
If I were in your shoes i'd be thinking of staying working and forgetting about insurance going forward.
Insurance is a luxury not a necessity.
 

cremeegg

Registered User
Messages
3,485
If I were in your shoes i'd be thinking of staying working and forgetting about insurance going forward.
Insurance is a luxury not a necessity.

Thats a bit of a blunt statement.

Certainly many small contractors dont have insurance.

If a contractor is sued and found liable by the courts for an incident then that is a serious issue if they have no insurance.

If you go down that route it is because you have nothing to loose. Not a good idea if you are a homeowner for example.
 

PaddyBloggit

Registered User
Messages
3,589
From RECI:

"It is illegal for anyone other than a Registered Electrical Contractor (REC) to carry out electrical work in your home or to portray themselves as being registered.

Registration under Safe Electric means the contractor is registered and insured."



Having insurance is a requirement to be registered with RECI.

No insurance = No registration = No Work as an electrician
 

delfio

Registered User
Messages
169
M_joyce
Sorry to hear of your problem, very uncertain time for you and your family. Could you go to work for a company on paye and you would be insured under them?
 

RichInSpirit

Registered User
Messages
931
The Irish constitution states that you have a right to earn a living.
If you are prevented from exercising that right you should have a case against those preventing you from exercising that right.
 

Ravima

Registered User
Messages
2,673
if claim is settled, then is is not outstanding. Is your broker working for you? Could you change broker?
 

eirman

Registered User
Messages
98
Do you know any specific brokers that specialise in cover from the UK? I wouldn't know where to start.

Is there any kind of protection for public liability insurance, like with car insurance where someone has to quote me?

I have often heard of LLOYDS being used by Irish companies who couldn't get cover within Ireland. You need a good Broker.

The Insurance Federation is where you go to, if you cannot get Motor Insurance.
Hopefully they can do the same for PL Insurance.
 

Leo

Moderator
Messages
12,433
The Irish constitution states that you have a right to earn a living.
If you are prevented from exercising that right you should have a case against those preventing you from exercising that right.

That's irrelevant, the constitutional protection offered is nowhere as specific as to invalidate RECI requirements. It offers equal rights to men and women to earn a living, not a specific living/job of their choosing. If it were, company directors who are the subject of disqualification orders could take a case against the state.
 

Jimbobp

Registered User
Messages
591
We have placed non standard liability into the Lloyds market over the last 12 months, so would be happy to try for you. Insurance Ireland is the new name of the insurance federation. Unfortunately, unlike motor insurance, there isn't a declined cases committee for you to fall back on, but we have yet to come across a case that someone in Lloyds won't look at.
 
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newtothis

Registered User
Messages
562
The Irish constitution states that you have a right to earn a living.
If you are prevented from exercising that right you should have a case against those preventing you from exercising that right.

That's a completely nonsensical argument. Does someone have the "right" to practice medicine without being a registered medical practitioner? A "right" to work as a bus driver without a license? Or in this case the "right" to work as an electrician without the relevant qualifications and registrations?
 

DirectDevil

Registered User
Messages
707
That's irrelevant, the constitutional protection offered is nowhere as specific as to invalidate RECI requirements. It offers equal rights to men and women to earn a living, not a specific living/job of their choosing. If it were, company directors who are the subject of disqualification orders could take a case against the state.

Company directors subjected to disqualification orders are in that position by operation of law in consequence of their actions. Likewise, criminals can be deprived of their liberty by law. I certainly cannot see any valid basis for a constitutional action for them.

Most unfortunately for the OP the actions of a commercial entity in refusing him cover have put him directly in to a position whereby he is deprived of his right to earn a living. Metaphorically, it is almost as if the insurers had effectively taken away his driving licence !

I am not sure if competition law would prohibit or allow it but do RECI have any kind of group insurance schemes that might avail the OP ?

Otherwise it is a long search by a good broker given what is at stake.

I would complain additionally to Insurance Ireland to draw attention to the issue but I would not be confident that they could resolve it.
 

DirectDevil

Registered User
Messages
707
If I were in your shoes i'd be thinking of staying working and forgetting about insurance going forward.
Insurance is a luxury not a necessity.

Whilst appreciating the practical idea behind this you could not recommend this course of action even where the contractor is a limited liability company. There would still be personal consequences for the individual electrician in both civil and criminal law.
 

M_Joyce

Registered User
Messages
10
We have placed non standard liability into the Lloyds market over the last 12 months, so would be happy to try for you. Insurance Ireland is the new name of the insurance federation. Unfortunately, unlike motor insurance, there isn't a declined cases committee for you to fall back on, but we have yet to come across a case that someone in Lloyds won't look at.


Thanks for all the replies, apologies for my delay in replying I stopped getting notifications.

Jimbob, if you PM me your work contact details I'll be in touch. Lloyd sounds like the best/only bet.

A 'declined claims' committee was exactly what I was hoping would exist.

Someone asked if the claim was paid, it isn't it's outstanding hence I can't get cover

Thanks again for everyone who took the time to reply
 

Ravima

Registered User
Messages
2,673
not wanting to be critical, but who is your current insurer? Are they genuinely pulling out of the irish market, or is there something specific to the claim? Were you in breach of a warranty or Policy conditions?
 

M_Joyce

Registered User
Messages
10
Hi Ladywishbone,
I can't reply to your PM for some reason. If you can PM jimbobp hes your best bet. Based on my experience I'd recommend speaking to him. Hopefully he can help you. Sorry to hear you're in this situation.

ETA: and just to add, with the help of an excellent broker we did get cover in the end through the UK and were able to stay in business so there is definitely hope :)
 
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