[10-05-2004] Welcome to the Business Insurance Website
Over the past two to three years rising insurance premiums has become an increasingly serious problem facing Northern Ireland business.
DETI has taken a three-fold approach to dealing with this problem even though insurance is in fact a reserved matter.
Firstly, by ensuring that the Northern Ireland position is represented at Westminster, through a UK-wide inter-departmental working group on employers liability insurance. This group aims to develop both short term and longer term measures to address the difficulties being experienced in the employers liability market. The group is looking at reducing frictional costs of claims, improving rehabilitation of injured employees, changes in enforcement to ensure a level playing field for legitimate business and is also working at improving communication between the insurance industry and business. This has already borne fruit as the Association of British Insurers (ABI) recently announced a standard of good practice setting out a minimum 21 day period of notice for insurance premium renewals.
Secondly, the Minister is keen to improve the insurance profile for small businesses in Northern Ireland. Through the work of Invest NI and HSENI a mentoring scheme is already underway. Advice on risk management for businesses is available through Invest NI and HSENI seminars, with additional small business advisors being recruited by the Health and Safety Executive.
DETI officials are also working to improve both the insurability of local businesses and the engagement of the insurance industry with the NI market. To this end, a working group has been formed, with representatives from DETI, the Federation of Small Businesses, Health and Safety Executive of Northern Ireland, Invest NI and the insurance industry.
The Minister and the Department will continue to press the Northern Ireland case in Westminster and also to provide advice to businesses locally.