herald

Thursday 22 August 2019

€25k insurance bounce forces removal of trampolines

The Fort Lucan site
The Fort Lucan site

One of the biggest adventure playgrounds in Ireland has been forced to remove two trampolines from its premises after its insurance was hiked by €25,000.

Fort Lucan Outdoor Adventureland in Dublin announced to customers it had "no choice" but to permanently remove its trampolines due to the insurance crisis.

Gillian Martin-Smith, manager of Fort Lucan, said the company's premium has doubled to more than €50,000 since 2015.

Supervised

Ms Martin-Smith said they were told they would have to pay an extra €25,000 on top of that to insure the two trampolines.

She said if the Government doesn't move to address insurance costs they are "going to close down the entire country".

"Basically, there were two trampolines built into the ground. People were always supervised, no adults were allowed on, children couldn't do somersaults or anything remotely dangerous and yet the insurance was hiked," she said.

"We've had no claims in the last 15 years. They were the safest trampolines in the country.

"I assume someone must have had an accident on a trampoline somewhere but there is no transparency from insurance companies. We are just given this magic number."

Fort Lucan has welcomed generations of children for nearly 25 years to its adventure park and customers were up in arms about the news.

"They talk about obesity levels rising and then they're making it impossible for kids to go anywhere to have physical fun because of insurance. Kids want to be outside having fun, the same way we all did when were young," said Ms Martin-Smith.

"If insurance keeps doubling year on year, every business is going to be closed.

"We're building a fantastic new attraction in its place. It's going to be fabulous. We're adamant we're not going anywhere and we're going to put a slide there in the meantime for this summer.

Threatened

"It's terrible not knowing year on year what your insurance is going to be.

"It should be like paying an electricity bill - it should be factored into your business, not be putting you at risk of going out of it."

Fort Lucan is a member of Play Activity and Leisure Ireland, which has been campaigning for reduced insurance costs.

More than 61 play centres have been threatened with closure this year alone.

Two play centres, in Dublin and Co Carlow, were forced to close earlier this year after their insurance costs soared by 300pc, resulting in the loss of dozens of jobs.

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