The Restaurants Association of Ireland is fighting back against insurers who refuse to compensate insured restaurants, cafés and pubs for loss of business.

Though many establishments had an insurance policy that covered business interruption, many insurers are refusing to cover them and pay out for loss of income caused by lockdown.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland conducted a survey of its members in April and have provided members who have potential claims with legal counsel.

Adrian Cummins, CEO of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, said: “It’s just been blow after blow to the restaurant sector. At this stage, many businesses sadly cannot take the financial hits and have been forced to close. The Government needs to step in. Business Interruption insurance should cover a pandemic. Through no fault of their own, and due to circumstances beyond their control, these restaurants, cafes and pubs were forced to close for a number of months and lost out on vital income.

“Why is the Government not stepping in to protect these businesses? These are mainly small businesses, not big corporations who can take the hit. They are our local community and family-run businesses, run by neighbours and friends. Some survive on a week by week basis and cannot cover the costs caused by the lockdown period. Many are also experiencing a severe drop in business now that they are open again.

“The Restaurants Association of Ireland is calling out the Government’s lack of initiative with righting this wrong. We have initiated legal proceedings on behalf of our members, but in the meantime they are left waiting, and that could mean the end of their business.

“We said after the announcement of the July Stimulus package that to ignore immediate legislative issues such as insurance reform until October’s Budget would result in the demise of a significant number of businesses and immediate job losses. This prediction is fast becoming a reality, and yet the Government still refuses to act.”

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