Wexford Order of Malta's O'Grady criticises insurers over first reponders' loading

By David Tucker

Published 08/10/2016 | 00:00

wEXFORD-based David O'Grady, the Regional Director of Order Of Malta Ireland, has described as ridiculous reports that insurance companies are hiking motor insurance premiums for volunteers who provide life-saving first aid in their communities.

'It's ridiculous to penalise somebody for going out of their way to do a good deed,' said Mr O'Grady after Aviva introduced a 20 per cent loading on motor insurance policies for volunteers operating as Community First Responders.

Mr O'Grady said Community First Responders were not the same as the emergency services and had to keep within speed limits and obey all the rules of the road all of the time. They were not allowed to speed when responding to emergencies.

'It's unacceptable that they should be penalised like this by insurance companies,' he said.

Mr O'Grady said he did not know of anyone who had been directly affected and had seen anecdotal reports that the loading had been waived when companies, including Aviva, were approached directly by first responders.

Aviva said the loading was done to 'cover the risk of this work, which is over and above the risk associated with the regular domestic/social use of a car," the insurer said in a statement'.

'It is, in fact the same loading we apply to, for example: a service technician, a doctor, a company director etc, anyone whose work involves the use of their car. If a CFR (community first responder) volunteer already pays this loading, they are covered for the CFR work as well.'

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