Rising insurance prices bring the music to a halt at one of the only nightclubs in North West Tasmania

The future of Burnie’s only nightclub in north-west Tasmania is uncertain due to rising insurance costs.

Burnie’s Green’s Hotel will remain closed for a second consecutive weekend after its security company’s insurance provider refused to cover the business for liability for its dance floors and live music.

Hotel manager Lee Green said it was a “devastating blow” for the business.

“It’s very scary. Without security we can’t operate. We don’t have a business, that’s where it is,” he said.

“Times are very tough. Not knowing if I’ll be there next week or the week after. It’s tough.

Insurance companies are more or less double deducting. You have liability for people entering the venue, and then you have liability against security guards.”

The company directly employs around 30 people on Friday and Saturday evenings and attracts hundreds of people from the North West region every weekend.

Night spots in Australia are facing rising liability insurance bills.(Unsplash: Axville)

“Many of them [staff] depend on that money and we just walk them through the line,” Green said.

“When you can’t give them the hours they need to live, that’s not a good thing.”

Mr Green said he tried to find another company to provide affordable security, but was unable to find one.

“We’re going to need help getting back up and running.”

He said he fears a prolonged closure of the venue could force revelers into dangerous territory.

“Instead of people going out and going to a place, people are starting to have house parties and it’s not a controlled environment, which puts more stress on the police,” a- he declared.

“It’s not good for Burnie.”

National problem

Australian Security Industry Association CEO Bryan de Caires said other nighttime venues in Australia were facing similar insurance issues.

“We’ve seen insurance premiums go up 600-800% and in some cases not be offered at all,” he said.

“Premiums have increased steadily over the past 18 months, but over the past six months they have become significantly higher.”

Mr de Caires said it was too risky for security companies to provide their services without adequate insurance protections.

“The market is very tight and there are very few providers offering coverage and those offering coverage are asking more questions than before,” he said.

“Some companies find it so expensive that they are unable to recoup the extra cost of insurance.”

He said more security firms were likely to shift from night venues to other sectors.

“That’s when you come in late at night, the alcohol, the youth demographics, the risk goes up and insurers get more worried and that’s when they raise the premium.”

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