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Athy RFC may have to closedown

  • 05-12-2019 3:43pm
    #1
    Moderators, Politics Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 10,894 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Quin_Dub


    Athy RFC may have to close down on Monday because they cannot get any Insurance coverage
    The future of the 140-year-old Athy Rugby Club is in serious doubt due to the club's difficulty in securing public liability insurance.

    Athy said they are having "grave difficulty" trying to find an insurer because of two claims, one historic and one pending.

    The likes of Ireland international Joey Carbery, his Munster team-mate Jeremy Loughman and Ireland Under-20 full-back Martin Moloney have all come through the Athy ranks, but the gates of the old club could be closed within the next four days.

    A letter issued to members from honorary secretary Brendan Conroy outlined the scale of the problem facing the south Kildare club, which will be forced to fold its teams and close its grounds from midnight on Monday, 9 December unless they find a solution.

    Terrible situation for such a well established club to find themselves in , for any club to be honest.

    The whole situation with claims & Insurance here has really gotten out of hand completely.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,553 ✭✭✭✭ errlloyd


    I am not sure what to do here.

    I work in the insurance industry, albeit a mile from liability insurance. I believe them when they say that the business simply is not profitable here as things stand.

    I think legislation needs to be rushed through the Dail on this, just waiting for the courts culture to change won't be quick enough for all the businesses and clubs we have lost this year.


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,978 irishbucsfan


    Feel really awful for them. Have played them countless times since I was a child.

    The claims themselves are bull**** as well, especially since two of them happened through non-rugby activities that the club required just to survive anyway


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Music Moderators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 22,299 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Dravokivich


    To me it's a bit nuts, you need public liability insurance, but if anyone claims off it, you won't be getting any renewals. It makes no odds whether or not you have it then.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,073 ✭✭✭✭ kippy


    It's gonna take a few high profile clubs/sporting organisations/businesses to go public with stuff like this to being about any level of change.
    I've noticed a couple of local businesses go public with their insurance issues and the more that do this the better.

    It's gotten to the point where it needs to be an election issue.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,436 ✭✭✭ tabby aspreme


    If this can't be solved in the next few days there will be hundreds of kids who won't be able to participate in their sport next week, the club has huge numbers of minis and youth players, putting out teams each week in every age grade from u7 to u18.5, and this year for the first time have full u 12,14,16, and 18 girls teams.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,073 ✭✭✭✭ kippy


    If this can't be solved in the next few days there will be hundreds of kids who won't be able to participate in their sport next week, the club has huge numbers of minis and youth players, putting out teams each week in every age grade from u7 to u18.5, and this year for the first time have full u 12,14,16, and 18 girls teams.

    And unfortunately, it is going to take a few of those high impact issues for people and politicians to actually take note.


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 10,894 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Quin_Dub


    Feel really awful for them. Have played them countless times since I was a child.

    The claims themselves are bull**** as well, especially since two of them happened through non-rugby activities that the club required just to survive anyway

    It's a key point here - Club members cannot sue the club (as technically you cannot sue yourself) so all of these claims will be always be Non-Rugby related - As long as everybody playing/coaching is a fully paid up member.

    So - If you are involved with a club make sure you have a "No Pay , No Play" policy to protect the club from liability claims unless the club explicitly offers a separate medical insurance policy (which some clubs do).

    Agree with others though that some kind of legislation is needed , either to cap the amount of claims or perhaps more importantly to provide for legal recourse for Insurers and the Insured against spurious claimants - I don't know anything about the specific actions against Athy RFC , but the broader impact of spurious claims is what is driving up costs and making insurers gun-shy to insure certain businesses or even categories of business.


  • Subscribers Posts: 36,228 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat


    This is disgraceful.... and its a time bomb waiting to happen

    as far as i know there is only one UK based underwriters who will take on irish clubs (ODON) and if they decide to walk from ireland we're all screwed.

    i will suggest the problem is that there is an open claim. People in the industry will know better, but from my experience having a open claim when a renewal is due is a nightmare.

    i know Athy RFC very well, and there are excellent people there, including Brendan Conroy.
    Between this, and the ring road issue they had a few years back, they are getting it from all sides.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,073 ✭✭✭✭ kippy


    Quin_Dub wrote: »
    It's a key point here - Club members cannot sue the club (as technically you cannot sue yourself) so all of these claims will be always be Non-Rugby related - As long as everybody playing/coaching is a fully paid up member.

    So - If you are involved with a club make sure you have a "No Pay , No Play" policy to protect the club from liability claims unless the club explicitly offers a separate medical insurance policy (which some clubs do).

    Agree with others though that some kind of legislation is needed , either to cap the amount of claims or perhaps more importantly to provide for legal recourse for Insurers and the Insured against spurious claimants - I don't know anything about the specific actions against Athy RFC , but the broader impact of spurious claims is what is driving up costs and making insurers gun-shy to insure certain businesses or even categories of business.

    You essentially need to make sure that only members have access to and use the club grounds/facilities to make that work - that's not in any way feasible unfortunately.

    The laws are the problem, so the laws need to be changed, not putting additional workload/unrealistic expectations on clubs and businesses.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,225 ✭✭✭✭ Venjur


    errlloyd wrote: »
    I am not sure what to do here.

    I work in the insurance industry, albeit a mile from liability insurance. I believe them when they say that the business simply is not profitable here as things stand.

    I think legislation needs to be rushed through the Dail on this, just waiting for the courts culture to change won't be quick enough for all the businesses and clubs we have lost this year.

    It's a fundamentally broken model.

    Insurers will put policies through their risk models and realise that they can insure a hundred 30 year old female drivers for the same risk as they can insure 1 rugby club. The rugby club to get access to the insurers cover 'pool' needs to then pay the same amount as 100 policies for the Insurer to take them on.

    Spurious claims are a problem, regulatory restrictions on insurers are in parts far too arbitrary and the courts system is in a constant state of disagreement over awards.

    What's left is an industry just not working as intended, and clubs like Athy suffering as a result.

    Insurers are milking it for sure, but they've been placed in a position where they can do that whilst also being able to deny responsibility.

    Country is crying out for a public option.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,313 ✭✭✭✭ lawred2


    Quin_Dub wrote: »
    It's a key point here - Club members cannot sue the club (as technically you cannot sue yourself) so all of these claims will be always be Non-Rugby related - As long as everybody playing/coaching is a fully paid up member.

    So - If you are involved with a club make sure you have a "No Pay , No Play" policy to protect the club from liability claims unless the club explicitly offers a separate medical insurance policy (which some clubs do).

    Agree with others though that some kind of legislation is needed , either to cap the amount of claims or perhaps more importantly to provide for legal recourse for Insurers and the Insured against spurious claimants - I don't know anything about the specific actions against Athy RFC , but the broader impact of spurious claims is what is driving up costs and making insurers gun-shy to insure certain businesses or even categories of business.

    what do you mean?

    an injured player/coach can't claim for treatment?


  • Subscribers Posts: 36,228 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat


    Quin_Dub wrote: »
    It

    So - If you are involved with a club make sure you have a "No Pay , No Play" policy to protect the club from liability claims unless the club explicitly offers a separate medical insurance policy (which some clubs do).

    that doesnt protect you from the public indemnity issues though

    Our insurance doesnt cover "participant v participant" claims anyway


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 10,894 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Quin_Dub


    kippy wrote: »
    You essnetially need to make sure that only members have access to and use the club grounds/facilities to make that work - that's not in any way feasible unfortunately.
    The laws are the problem, so the laws need to be changed, not putting additional workload/unrealistic expectations on clubs and businesses.

    Don't disagree with that at all - My comments were more about controlling what you could directly control(your own members) rather than suggesting it as a complete solution.

    Laws absolutely have to change , there need to be caps on claims and there absolutely needs to be penalties for exaggerated/spurious claims.

    I've lost count of the times that I've read court reports where a Judge has thrown out claims in court due to them being utterly unbelievable but the claimant and their legal team walk away most of the time without any impact to them.

    That has to change - If a judge basically rejects your claim because you lied you absolutely positively need to be penalised for that , at least mandatory costs awarded against you or more depending on the nature and extent of the issue.


  • Subscribers Posts: 36,228 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat


    lawred2 wrote: »
    what do you mean?

    an injured player/coach can't claim for treatment?

    no, a member cannot claim off the clubs insurance as they are essentially suing themselves.

    AON provide a players insurance policy which comes with registration... and some clubs may provide a more indepth insurance cover which would cover treatment costs, loss of earnings etc but this would require individual players paying into it... and its separate from a clubs combined insurance


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 10,894 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Quin_Dub


    lawred2 wrote: »
    what do you mean?

    an injured player/coach can't claim for treatment?

    Not against their "home" club.

    If the club offer a "personal injury policy" then yes , but a member cannot claim against their own clubs liability insurance.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 321 ✭✭ 171170


    Quin_Dub wrote: »

    It's a key point here - Club members cannot sue the club (as technically you cannot sue yourself) so all of these claims will be always be Non-Rugby related - As long as everybody playing/coaching is a fully paid up member.

    So - If you are involved with a club make sure you have a "No Pay , No Play" policy to protect the club from liability claims unless the club explicitly offers a separate medical insurance policy (which some clubs do).

    That's fine, but it wouldn't prevent a member of a visiting rugby club suing the club for a rugby-related incident.

    I recall a friend falling in the showers after a game* and suffering a very severe head injury that almost killed him. He would have been in dire straits without being able to obtain compo from the host club's insurers.

    * almost 40 years ago


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,313 ✭✭✭✭ lawred2


    Quin_Dub wrote: »
    Not against their "home" club.

    If the club offer a "personal injury policy" then yes , but a member cannot claim against their own clubs liability insurance.

    Well I can tell you that our club are less than clear about this. I'll have to follow up at the weekend.


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 10,894 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Quin_Dub


    171170 wrote: »
    That's fine, but it wouldn't prevent a member of a visiting rugby club suing the club for a rugby-related incident.

    I recall a friend falling in the showers after a game* and suffering a very severe head injury that almost killed him. He would have been in dire straits without being able to obtain compo from the host club's insurers.

    * almost 40 years ago

    You are correct , and again I obviously don't know the specifics of the above case so not in anyway demeaning or disparaging your friend , but broadly speaking why should a scenario like the one you describe automatically mean that the club was liable?

    If the shower area was in some way not up to the required safety standards , had poor maintenance or whatever then absolutely a claim is reasonable.

    But - If you just trip/fall over because of a million possible reasons , none of which are the result of negligence on the part of the location then you should not be able to make a claim.

    That is the fundamental issue here - No ones seems willing to say "I fell over because I wasn't paying full attention and broke a bone/split my head , but it was my fault so **** happens"

    The immediate response today seems to be "Who can I sue to get a few quid for this?" and it's killing businesses and public amenities across the country.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,044 ✭✭✭ arsebiscuits1


    Quin_Dub wrote: »
    You are correct , and again I obviously don't know the specifics of the above case so not in anyway demeaning or disparaging your friend , but broadly speaking why should a scenario like the one you describe automatically mean that the club was liable?

    If the shower area was in some way not up to the required safety standards , had poor maintenance or whatever then absolutely a claim is reasonable.

    But - If you just trip/fall over because of a million possible reasons , none of which are the result of negligence on the part of the location then you should not be able to make a claim.

    That is the fundamental issue here - No ones seems willing to say "I fell over because I wasn't paying full attention and broke a bone/split my head , but it was my fault so **** happens"

    The immediate response today seems to be "Who can I sue to get a few quid for this?" and it's killing businesses and public amenities across the country.

    Adding to this (and not directing this at 171170's mate, just at the compo culture in general) people are less and less willing to admit that sometimes, things are their fault.

    Yes it's **** you got hurt, but it doesn't always have to be someone else fault. Sometimes people have rotten luck and it really shouldn't be down to other people to offset this


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,233 ✭✭✭ Yeah_Right


    Ireland needs to follow NZ's model. They have the Accident Compensation Corporation. Its funded by tax from businesses (I think) and it covers the medical costs for all injuries as well as loss of earnings for time off (up to 80% I think). It means there are no personal injury lawsuits in NZ. Of course there are chancers who try to defraud the system by claiming ACC when they have actually fully recovered but there is an investigative department and the penalties are quite stiff.


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  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 10,894 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Quin_Dub


    Yeah_Right wrote: »
    Ireland needs to follow NZ's model. They have the Accident Compensation Corporation. Its funded by tax from businesses (I think) and it covers the medical costs for all injuries as well as loss of earnings for time off (up to 80% I think). It means there are no personal injury lawsuits in NZ. Of course there are chancers who try to defraud the system by claiming ACC when they have actually fully recovered but there is an investigative department and the penalties are quite stiff.

    That's the big bit that's missing here - Chancers and Ambulance Chasers lodging no-risk claims against everybody..That has to stop.


  • Subscribers Posts: 36,228 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat


    Quin_Dub wrote: »
    That's the big bit that's missing here - Chancers and Ambulance Chasers lodging no-risk claims against everybody..That has to stop.

    they are the rats that follow the cheese


    stop the cheese, you stop the rats


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,628 ✭✭✭ crisco10


    Quin_Dub wrote: »

    That is the fundamental issue here - No ones seems willing to say "I fell over because I wasn't paying full attention and broke a bone/split my head , but it was my fault so **** happens"

    The immediate response today seems to be "Who can I sue to get a few quid for this?" and it's killing businesses and public amenities across the country.


    I was messing with a running buddy a few years ago on some monkey bars in a park and felt my shoulder twinge. Long story short, a year later I ended up getting minor shoulder surgery. I never claimed off the council, because why would I, I was the one messing and hanging one armed off a damned monkey bar.

    Nonetheless, given the culture in this country, I have no doubt a lot of people would have claimed off the council for not putting a sign up showing how exactly to use monkey bars or similar. Which is just entirely ridiculous and unfair. I just wonder is it 1 in 10 who claim or 6 in 10 or...


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 10,894 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Quin_Dub


    crisco10 wrote: »
    I was messing with a running buddy a few years ago on some monkey bars in a park and felt my shoulder twinge. Long story short, a year later I ended up getting minor shoulder surgery. I never claimed off the council, because why would I, I was the one messing and hanging one armed off a damned monkey bar.

    Nonetheless, given the culture in this country, I have no doubt a lot of people would have claimed off the council for not putting a sign up showing how exactly to use monkey bars or similar. Which is just entirely ridiculous and unfair. I just wonder is it 1 in 10 who claim or 6 in 10 or...

    Exactly , sometimes it's a self-inflicted wound because you were horsing around or whatever , sometimes it's just a confluence of multiple things that mean you fall over or bump into something etc. but none of those things mean that the owners of the location of the incident are automatically liable to cover your possible costs/losses.

    The concept of Personal responsibility and "Accidental" needs to be codified and strengthened in the laws around Insurance claims.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,396 ✭✭✭ joseywhales


    There is some serious contrast in Ireland between a club run by volunteers providing an outlet for kids to exercise and socialise and a culture where even high profile politicians get caught out trying to claim against businesses for self inflicted"falls" while inebriated. It's a good example of the rot starting from the top down.

    Are they really going to allow the country to become dominated by the latter.

    I don't live in Ireland anymore but I have played athy many times growing up and I have met many such volunteers working hard for nothing but because they believe in what they are doing, the usual characters painting lines, making food, coaching kids every weekend, this is some insult to all of those people.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,034 ✭✭✭ joeysoap


    This insurance thing affects other clubs and other sports too


    Sligo Rovers highlighted their case earlier in the year,

    Anything change since..,,,,,.....?

    https://www.sportsjoe.ie/football/sligo-rovers-lament-significant-issues-fai-202884


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,073 ✭✭✭✭ kippy


    joeysoap wrote: »
    This insurance thing affects other clubs and other sports too


    Sligo Rovers highlighted their case earlier in the year,

    Anything change since..,,,,,.....?

    https://www.sportsjoe.ie/football/sligo-rovers-lament-significant-issues-fai-202884

    This is what I am saying above, it effects every organisation and business and indeed individual in one way or another - it's gonna take a few high profile shutdowns for things to change unfortunately.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,233 ✭✭✭ Yeah_Right


    Whatever happened to claims filed against the IRFU by "fans" who got hit by ball at the Aviva?


  • Registered Users Posts: 267 ✭✭ daphil


    Yeah_Right wrote: »
    Ireland needs to follow NZ's model. They have the Accident Compensation Corporation. Its funded by tax from businesses (I think) and it covers the medical costs for all injuries as well as loss of earnings for time off (up to 80% I think). It means there are no personal injury lawsuits in NZ. Of course there are chancers who try to defraud the system by claiming ACC when they have actually fully recovered but there is an investigative department and the penalties are quite stiff.

    Am in NZ at the moment and yesterday my grandsons' had a school picnic in a local park. If you could see the equipment there, Flying foxes, (Zip Lines), huge climbing frames, water cannons etc. None of these would be allowed in Ireland because of insurance risks.
    It's the same story in the school playgrounds. They charge around the place and use climbing frames etc.
    How this country needs something like NZ's "Accident Compensation Corporation", it might lead to us producing some "hardy boys/girls" for the Rugby team.
    Dave


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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,138 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Zzippy


    This needs legislation to address widespread racketeering/cartel activities of the insurance companies. Read stats recently that despite the industry PR of massive claims, in the last 6 years the total value of claims paid out increased by 3%, while premiums increased by 75%. There is no justification for that except profiteering on a massive scale.


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