The Vintners Federation of Ireland has welcomed the intervention of the Central Bank seeking that insurers offer fair settlements to customers entitled to payouts.
According to the Irish Times the regulator is also engaging with peers across Europe and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority.
Policyholders who’ve been told that losses due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus are not covered in their policy are not limited to Ireland.
“The Central Bank continues to engage proactively with insurance firms and the industry representatives on contingency and claims-related issues in the sector in light of the impact of Covid-19 on consumers, households and businesses,” said a spokeswoman for the bank.
“The Central Bank expects that firms will continue to protect their customers and to comply with all regulatory requirements in light of the significant economic disruption caused by the measures required to tackle the Covid-19 public health emergency. Firms must ensure that all claims are appropriately assessed and where there is insurance cover in place that claims are accepted and paid.”
The Irish Times reports, “It is understood that the regulator’s consumer protection arm is looking at insurers’ handling of claims relating to travel, health, mortgage protection and business continuity policies”.
Having looked at a large number of policies over the weekend, Peter Boland, Director of the Alliance for Insurance Reform, found that they appeared to fall into three categories: recent policies where coronavirus is clearly included either by naming it or not naming it; policies that have a grey area that may need clarification from the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman or the courts and – in many cases – policies where coverage is not included.
In the words of Will Goodbody, Business editor with RTE, “A stand-off is in prospect that will test both the regulator’s resolve and the willingness of insurance companies to do what many will see as the right thing”.