Would you pay €1,100 to compete in a sporting event?
Well if motorsport is your sport, this is the new cost of entering a regular event in 2017. And it’s putting the very existence of the sport at risk.
The cost is directly attributable to the rising cost of insurance for the event. An event that cost €500 to enter in 2015, now costs more than double that amount.
Why the increase?
Only one insurance broker offered to insure Motorsport Ireland competitors and competitions in 2017. Despite no claims in 2016, motorsport insurers suffered a loss ratio of 395% in 2015. The ripple effect in 2017 is less insurers in the market, increased insurance premiums and the increased entry fees.
So the choice was simple for Motorsport Ireland - accept the deal or cancel all 2017 competitions. They had to accept.
Motorsport Ireland CEO Alex Sinclair said the increase "has taken the sport to the brink of whether it can survive or not."
“Insurers I spoke to said it was down to high levels of awards and uncertainty they face in the Irish market. One London-based insurer even described it as the 'Wild West. This is a problem which needs to be addressed urgently because motor sport can’t face another increase like this”.
Whose fault is this?
Lawyers for suing on behalf of clients for personal injuries, judges for being too generous in their awards, the sport itself in its risk management or the insurers who price premiums too low and then leave the market after getting burnt by claims compensation?
What about the State for not protecting sport and culture ?
Maybe some or all but claims arising from personal and fatal injuries in rallies in 2012, 2013 and 2015 where spectators and competitors died, will have spooked insurers. Certainly claims arising from such deaths and injuries will have crystallised on the insurer’s balance sheets. However the State cannot shrug its shoulders either and take a laissez-faire attitude to sport.
Insurers I spoke to said it was down to high levels of awards and uncertainty they face in the Irish market. "One London-based insurer even described it as the 'Wild West'. "This is a problem which needs to be addressed urgently because motor sport can’t face another increase like this. "We have upwards of 10,000 drivers, marshals, volunteers and fans involved in motor sport every weekend and they need to know that they will be able to continue enjoying the sport they love in the years to come."