The crisis facing SMEs as a result of COVID-19 is worsening as insurance companies continue to refuse businesses compensation.
A survey carried out by Fianna Fáil’s Business, Enterprise, and Innovation Spokesperson Robert Troy TD, supported by industry bodies, has revealed that the majority of SMEs are being refused insurance compensation for their loss of earnings.
The survey also found that most SMEs that have Business Interruption cover are being told they are not eligible to compensation because they were not legally forced to close by the Government or because an employee had not contracted the virus on their premises.
While SMEs with Infectious Disease cover are being told a pandemic is not included or COVID-19 was not listed on their policy.
Deputy Robert Troy said, “It was truly shocking to hear the responses from so many SMEs when asked about their experience with their insurance company since this crisis began.
“Businesses with legitimate policies are being refused cover for ridiculous reasons such as the technicalities of the Government’s closure request, because they were proactive in protecting their staff and did not wait until one was infected or because COVID-19 is not listed as an infectious disease.
“These excuses are disgraceful, and the insurance companies and its representative body needs to address them.
“Fianna Fáil is calling on Minister Donohoe to sit down with the CEOs of the large insurance companies this week to try and resolve this matter.
“While I understand this is also unprecedented for the insurance industry and they can’t cover all loss of earnings, they do have a duty to pay out to those with eligible policies and to offer some support to other SMEs by potentially suspending premiums while businesses are closed.
“If this matter is not dealt with shortly, SMEs will be forced to face the reality that they may not reopen”, concluded Deputy Troy.