Pubs and Nightclubs across Ireland are closing down by the second due to rising insurance costs.
Opening up a business of this nature is always a risk because the amount of people that will be on the premises, who more than likely will be drinking alcohol over a period of time, heightening the risk of injuries and in turn, claims.
This has become a serious issue for club owners in the last few years, with many having to close their doors because they can no longer afford the insurance premiums as they go up each year.
Not only are the premiums closing in on the business owners, but even the claims themselves can cost so much by having to go through a court case, where many prove to be false claims.
This has become a rising issue for many nightclub owners especially, where customers file claims against the establishments in order to claim money for accidents that were completely the fault of their own, which CCTV cameras have shown.
Noel Anderson told Independent.ie that “The late night club scene is coming to an end now and it’s become too risky to have a dance floor. Our closing time is now around 1.30am, whereas we used to stay open later. If you’re staying open past 1.30am you’re leaving yourself open to trouble,”
Anderson’s insurance costs him 36,000 euro a year, despite having made alterations to the club to reduce the risk of injury, removing dance floors and making the closing time earlier, changing it to 1.30am. He had a claim last year that raised his insurance to that price.
There’s been a number of false claims being made that Nightclubs have reported. One being the ‘tooth-fairy case’. A woman brought tried for a compensation claim after she said she fell in the nightclub. CCTV cameras later showed the woman was actually in a fight with her friend and got punched in the face. The claim was dropped.
She was looking for 8,500 euros for dental costs after losing a tooth during the incident.
Another case dubbed the ‘dancing queens’ was brought up when a woman claimed that she slipped on a wet floor when CCTV cameras later showed that her friend was holding her and dropped her while they were dancing. She was shown the CCTV footage and walked out of the bar immediately.
Wrights venue in Swords announced its closure at the end of January, after the owner decided to turn it into a game, eatery and event space instead.
The low number of insurance companies willing to insure nightclubs, give a lower amount of competition between insurance costs, which is another reason as for why they can be so high for so many.
Speaking to the independent, a 58 year old night club owner from Tipperary said, “I reckon that every nightclub is having the same kind of experience. I think one of the big problems is that people are not taking responsibility for their own actions. They are pre-drinking and getting hammered and we can’t protect people from falling, we can only stop them coming onto the premises if they’re too drunk, but even when we’ve tried to do that, we’ve been sued.”
Many claim this is forcing us to lose our culture and lose many smaller family business who can no longer afford such high insurance costs.