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'In Germany we are not used to the claim culture': Dublin Oktoberfest event cancelled due to insurance cost

The festival was scheduled to take place on George’s Dock, beside the IFSC, from Friday 14 September until Saturday 6 October.

THE DUBLIN OKTOBERFEST festival which has taken place on the capital’s quays for the last nine years has been cancelled for 2019 due to the rising cost of insurance. 

In a statement issued this afternoon, Oktoberfest Dublin said it was saddened that it had to pull the event and said that it did not anticipate the claims culture that exists in Ireland.

The festival was scheduled to take place on George’s Dock, beside the IFSC, from Friday 14 September until Saturday 6 October. 

The statement read: “Dear Oktoberfest fans & friends,It is with much disappointment that we make this announcement.

“Unfortunately this years event will not be going ahead. As much as we love coming to Dublin and doing our event with you guys the 2019 event cannot go ahead due to unprecedented increases in our insurance premium.

In Germany we are not used to the claim culture that has developed in Ireland and therefore we have decided to take a break this year. The belief that putting in an insurance claim doesn’t hurt anyone except the insurance company is incorrect, consequently great fun events like ours find it hard to go ahead when suspect insurance claims from a small minority of people can ruin it for everybody.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our loyal patrons and Irish partners that have helped us with the event over the years and ask you to look forward to Oktoberfest 2020.Love Oktoberfest Crew x”

A new report compiled by the Department of Justice showed that that total amount awarded for personal injury payouts dropped by over 9% when data from between 2013 and 2017 was studied. 

The Sunday Business Post reported last week how the report’s findings contradict the insurance industry;s claims that the rising payouts in the courts were the main reason for the increase in premiums. 

Three Irish insurance companies each said separately that they estimated that approximately 20% of the personal injury claims they receive could be fraudulent or exaggerated. 

They stated that fraudulent claims are part of the reason for rising premium costs in Ireland, along with high legal fees and high court awards (particularly for whiplash claims).

A recent FactCheck by showed that this could not be proven with the data that was provided. 

The latest annual report by Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) – the state body which assesses personal injury compensation – shows the number of applications increased by 0.8% to 33,371 claims.

At the same time the number of awards declined by 4.4% to 12,112 cases in 2018.

The total value of awards last year fell by 5.2% to €298.55 million – an annual reduction of almost €16.5 million over compensation payouts in 2017.

We explored the phenomenon of rising insurance premiums in a recent episode of our podcast The Explainer. Sinéad O’Carroll was joined in studio by reporter Orla Dwyer to discuss her FactCheck looking at the rate of fraudulent claims in Ireland, Peter Boland of the Alliance for Insurance Reform talked us through the complications in how a claim is processed, and Pearse Doherty, who spoke more about his questioning of insurance chiefs while also examining the finer points of insurance industry in Ireland – and what can be done to fix it.

The Explainer / SoundCloud

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