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'This is a disgrace': Second Meath adventure firm faces closure due to 'ridiculous' insurance hike

Boyne Valley Activities said there was a 400% hike on its premium since 2013 despite the fact that it has not made any claims.

ANOTHER MEATH ADVENTURE firm is facing potential closure due to hikes in insurance costs.

Boyne Valley Activities, which runs activities such as kayaking, rope courses and archery, revealed this week that it had to temporarily cease operations on 1 May as management decided what to do about a “ridiculous” hike in insurance.

In a statement, the company’s management said it has never made a claim on its insurance policy.

“Through no fault of our own we have been a victim of ridiculous insurance hikes that are crippling small businesses in this country.”

We are back open again with a 400% hike on our premium of the last six years (and a loss of revenue for the past couple of weeks-the opening weeks of our 16-week summer season).

The company said it got no warning about this hike but now fears further increases next year. 

“This is not sustainable,” management said. 

Rathbeggan Lakes Family Adventure Park in Meath recently announced it would close at the end of the summer season, again due to spiralling insurance costs. 

Owner Dave Robinson told RTÉ’s Clare Byrne Live that despite making no claims, his business’ insurance costs increased 100% this year. 

“We’ve seen this insurance rise coming over the last couple of years and we’ve taken a fine calculated decision that we’re not taking any more of it,” he said.

“Our insurance went up by over 100% this year. God knows what it’s going to be next year or the year after so we announced four or five weeks ago that we were going to close.

The formula for my size of business has gone wrong and, like any business, you need to know your margins and this year we didn’t even know what our insurance bill was going to be until we got towards the end of March.

‘A disgrace’

Boyne Valley Activities has said it is open for business until at least the end of its 2019 season and owner James Murray said they are “looking forward to a great season”.

“We had invested heavily in a new riverside coffee dock over the last few months and never got to open it because of the insurance issue but we open ‘Boyneista Coffee Dock’ today.”

The firm has reassured schools and summer camp groups that their bookings will be honoured. 

However the firm said its future now is uncertain. 

“We will continue to operate as usual and see can we soak up the ridiculous insurance hike we had to take. We will have a savage season and we will continue to grow-but we have big decisions to make in September.

“At this rate there won’t be an outdoor activity center left in the country for the youth of Ireland-and our visiting tourists. This is a disgrace.”

Bike Park Ireland in Tipperary also yesterday announced it will close temporarily from this weekend until it has a new policy in place. The company said it is “the latest victim of the ridiculous insurance crisis”. 

“We have been working day and night to find a solution and we will continue to do so until we have it.”

All bookings made for this weekend will be fully refunded and the park hopes to reopen next week.

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