Insurers to continue forbearance for customers hit by Covid

Insurance Ireland says firms have signed up to a range of measures to help people

Insurance Ireland, 5 Harbourmaster Place, Dublin 1.

Insurance Ireland, 5 Harbourmaster Place, Dublin 1.

 

The insurance industry has announced that recent forbearance measures for customers impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic will continue in light of the Government’s decision to move to Level 5 restrictions.

Insurance Ireland, which includes Allianz, Aviva, Axa, FBD, RSA Insurance Ireland and Zurich, said the sector “fully appreciates that this is an incredibly difficult time for families and businesses”.

It said Irish insurers are paying out €250 million to customers in claims and benefits every week.

“Customers can be assured that their insurers will continue to deliver for them during the crisis, paying pensions and settling claims for life, travel, household, property, liability, motor and health insurance,” it said.

“This has involved a move towards remote working, significant IT work and making business processes more flexible to better serve customers.

“Across the personal and business customer base, Irish general insurers are continuing a range of forbearance measures for those impacted by the new Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions.”

The representative body for the industry said that while the measures will vary by company to reflect the different products in the market, there are a number of common measures that most companies have signed up to.

For personal customers, these include the suspension of cancellation fees or missed direct debit fees, as well as the extension of credit facilities with relevant brokers.

In terms of home working, insurers have pledged to extend cover under standard household policies.

Volunteer driving

Elsewhere, volunteer driving associated with Covid-19 is covered on private car policies under social, domestic and pleasure use.

HSE professionals will get priority for repairs and claims, while insurers will also accept driving licences that were due to expire in line with what has been stated with the Road Safety Authority.

For business customers, insurers will work with policy holders who need to adjust their premiums for employers’ liability, public liability and commercial motor for the periods they are not trading.

Insurers will also allow up to 28 days after renewal for payment. Cover will be maintained for unoccupied commercial buildings/ premises not in use due to Covid-19 restrictions for a set period. However, appropriate supervision and security of the premises is required.

Insurers will support requests for a change of property use during the crisis for business impacted by Covid-19 restrictions. Customers wishing to avail of any of these measures should contact their insurer or broker directly.

‘Extreme’ impacts

Insurance Ireland chief executive Moyagh Murdock said: “Our members recognise that some customers, personal and business, will experience extreme economic impacts as a result of the move to Level 5 restrictions.

“We are committed to continuing to support our customers once again. Insurance Ireland has set up a special Covid-19 hub on our website to share practical information with customers.

“Our member companies also have information and advice on their own websites and have been communicating with customers and brokers to provide advice and support throughout this difficult period.”