Written answers

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Department of Finance

Insurance Coverage

Photo of Michael McGrathMichael McGrath (Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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99. To ask the Minister for Finance if he has consulted with the insurance industry about compensation payouts as a result of flood and other storm damage from the recent storms; if the new rules have come into force regarding cash payments and retention payments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3745/20]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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My officials have recently been in touch with Insurance Ireland to get an update on the number of property claims they have received as a result of the recent storms.  In response, Insurance Ireland has indicated that there has not been a large increase in the number of calls to their Consumer Insurance Information Service helpline. Therefore, Insurance Ireland's initial view is that the recent storms have not lead to a significant increase in claims at this stage. However, they will continue to monitor the situation.

In the context of the recent storms, the Deputy may wish to note that the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced the opening of a Scheme to provide emergency humanitarian assistance for small businesses, sports clubs, community and voluntary organisations unable to secure flood insurance and affected by recent flooding. In addition to this, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has activated the Humanitarian Assistance scheme to support householders affected by flooding.

Finally, in relation to the Deputy’s query about the new rules on retention, the position is as follows. Section 17 of the Consumer Insurance Contracts Act 2019 provided for these new rules and this recently enacted piece of legislation is subject to Ministerial commencement.  In that regard, I believe that it should be a matter for the new Government to commence that piece of legislation and as such these new rules are not yet active.


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