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False claims are a plague on many small businesses in Ireland

False claims are a plague on many small businesses in Ireland

Jonathan Hehir, CEO of, gives his opinion on fraudulent liability insurance claims.

Shops throughout the country are closing as a result of crippling fraudulent public liability claims and subsequent premium increases. False claims are a “plague” on many small businesses in Ireland, particularly those in retail, where some people attempt to sue after pretending to trip in a shop, or pretending to steal so they can accuse the store for defamation when questioned. From what we see on the ground, a significant portion of these cases in some shops are intentionally planned by criminals that have invariably benefited from similar exercises in the past.

We recently had a shop owner approach us for help in seeking public liability insurance, as he simply couldn’t pay his current premium. We managed to reduce his policy from €180,000 to €110,000 where he would be liable for the first €10,000 of each claim. Unfortunately, he couldn’t accept the quote due to then number of attempted claims each year, and was forced to close his successful business.

Aside from ‘diving’ and tripping, a major fraud issue for owners is the staging of ‘wrongful arrest’ or defamation, where fraudsters pretend to steal an item and accus