20 March, 2020

The Alliance for Insurance Reform has reacted to a press release from Ireland’s insurer representative body by calling on the Government to intervene.

The press release from Insurance Ireland states that “In relation to Business Interruption cover, standard business insurance policies are designed and priced to cover standard risks.  Standard policies typically refer to risks which are physically present on the business premises. They are therefore unlikely to provide cover for the extraordinary preventative measures (up to and including decisions to close) that have been taken by many businesses to implement social distancing guidelines. Businesses should check the scope of their particular cover and speak to their insurance company or broker.”

Peter Boland, director of the Alliance said that “we have been inundated with calls from small businesses that have had to close, thought they were covered by their business interruption insurance and are now being told by their insurer that they are not. We are calling on Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe to intervene in this situation. Government has already engaged in multiple aspects of commercial relationships and given clarity as to what needs to be done. The Government’s National Action Plan in response to COVID-19 states that it will ‘Work closely with affected business sectors and stakeholders to identify any other appropriate liquidity or other responses required to assist affected businesses.’ This is just such a situation and we expect that it will be dealt with quickly and fairly.”

“Separately, we acknowledge the work of insurers in keeping their doors open and we urge them to move swiftly now to confirm measures to ‘to allow businesses impacted by closure suspend or reduce cover and / or receive flexibility in payments’ as their press release commits to.”

See letter to Minister Paschal Donohoe here

For more visit Alliance for Insurance Reform website