The Irish Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle Network have been advocating for Insurance Reform for this sector for over three years. Insurance has long been an issue for artists, but it really came to a head in 2017 when the UK underwriters started to withdraw from trading in Ireland, leaving only one provider for the teaching of aerial skills. Subsequently the costs for same went up by five times in less than a year, even with no claims. That underwriter (Lloyds) has since withdrawn, leaving not a single provider for the teaching of circus skills, in particular aerial, or anything which is off the ground by more than 1.5 metres in Ireland.
This leaves many artists and organisations at risk of two things:
- Operating without insurance
- Closing down
Neither of these options ISACS condone and are devastated to say that this is the reality facing us now. We have worked very hard to grow and nourish this sector and have seen it flourish, with the emergence of several artists supported through the Arts Council Next Generation, Creative Ireland and other such state supported programmes; who are aerial artists and who would not exist without the possibility of training in aerial skills in Ireland.
The impact of Lloyds leaving Ireland has had a catastrophic effect on the leisure, tourism, hospitality, construction, cultural, community and voluntary sector right across Ireland.
There is an urgent need to put in place a temporary solution for those who are watching their organisations close, despite all their best efforts. We, in ISACS, have exhausted every channel in Ireland, the UK and further afield, in an effort to get cover for our members. Additionally, we have met the Departments of Finance and Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Arts Council, the Local Authorities as well as others, but to no avail as yet.
For further information please view the following documents:
- Recently the Alliance completed a MEMBER SURVEY, details of which are on their website at: https://insurancereform.ie/2019/07/17/member-survey/
- The Public Participation Network conducted a National survey, results of which are available here.
Insurance Reform is a major area of focus for the ISACS network currently due to the unprecedented hikes which has seen some of our organisations receive raises of over 5 times previous years insurance costs with no claims history in the last 5 years.
ISACS Network has joined forces with the Alliance for Insurance Reform and are working hard together with them to advocate for change. We have completed a survey on Insurance claims from the ISACS membership which indicate that in the last 5 years there have been two minor claims made and one is still outstanding.
We have been in constant contact with Minister Michael D’Arcy at the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform with special responsibility for Financial Services and Insurance reform and he has sent us the following two letters in April here and July here, in response to our queries outlining the measures that his department is taking to bring in Insurance reform now.
Most recently the department published the Personal Injury Commission report, which sets out the measures to be implemented towards reform very clearly. You can also download all the minutes and reports from this department here.
We also have highlighted this issue to the Minister for Arts – Josepha Madigan and you may want to read her answer. In addition, this issue has been brought to the attention of the full board and executive of the Arts Council as a particular threat to the infrastructure of our community.
To view full detailed report on all actions undertaken please log in as a member and go to Members Space's internal communications to download same.