So-called Compo Culture is back with a vengeance, according to a new report by RGDATA. According to ShelfLife magazine, shop owners have reported a sharp rise in personal injury claims and rocketing insurance premiums. RGDATA, which represents local shops and retailers across Ireland, has called for major legal reforms to stem the tide.

In a nationwide survey of 500 RGDATA members;

  • 85% of retailers have seen an increase in their insurance premiums over the last year,
  • The average insurance premium increase is just over 30% on the previous year, but some have increased by as much as 150%
  • 44% of retailers surveyed said that they had insurance claims recently with the majority (77%) involving personal injury claims
  • 34% of retailers have faced at least one personal injury claim in the last 12 months
  • Retailers are reporting a persistent increase in claims from serial claimants and claims that are spurious and grossly exaggerated
  • All retailers surveyed felt that insurance companies are over eager to settle claims prematurely rather than fighting cases
  • In over 80% of cases the insurer never consulted the retailer before settling the case

“Shop owners are facing a real crisis,” said Tara Buckley, RGDATA’s director general. “They are operating in tough trading conditions, but also have to deal with ever increasing insurance costs and a deluge of personal injury claims which insurance companies are all too keen to settle. This is costing businesses huge sums of money each year and negatively impacting on the viability of these businesses and their potential to employ people.”

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Slips, trips and falls are the leading causes of injuries and insurance claims in the retail industry. It is the number one customer incident and in the top three for employee incidents. People slip, trip and fall in a variety of ways resulting in a wide range of injury severity. A good floor maintenance program should include training in the proper use and care of floor mats, which has proven beneficial in reducing slips and falls.

Basic prevention is key in reducing your liability. Contact us today and we can advise you on a fixed entrance matting system to help increase your level of threshold safety.