With a general election likely in the next few months, lobbyists are lining up to snipe at the industry and politicians are keeping their eyes peeled for populist vote winners.

The Small Firms Association is encouraging its 8,000 members to pressure local politicians to consider the issue of the large insurance premium hikes being imposed on their members. The Irish Business and Employers' Confederation (IBEC) is playing on a bigger park and appears to have the ear of opposition parties when it says insurers are taking advantage of a restricted market in imposing premium rises of up to 200%. It says jobs, businesses and economic growth are at stake.

So now is the time for the industry to start fighting back. The Irish Insurance Federation (IIF) is already tackling IBEC and the motor lobbyists, and the membership contributions will have been well worth it if the IIF is able to head off calls for a motor insurance watchdog and other potential business hurdles. But do not leave it up to the IIF and the Irish Brokers' Association to fight your battles. You must defend our industry at every turn, otherwise you could be facing a new government with some very stringent promises to live up to.

Andy Cook