Thursday, 22 November 2018

Questions (36)

James Browne


36. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Finance his plans to make suicide clauses in life insurance policies illegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48426/18]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

At the outset, the Deputy should note that while I am very conscious of the sensitivity of this issue, neither I in my role as Minister for Finance, nor the Central Bank of Ireland, can interfere in determining what an insurance contract covers and what it excludes as these matters are of a commercial nature, and are determined by insurance companies based on an assessment of the risks they are willing to accept. This position is reinforced by the EU framework for insurance which expressly prohibits Member States from adopting such rules. Consequently, I am not in a position to direct insurance companies as to the pricing level or terms or conditions that they should apply in respect of particular categories of policyholders or particular products.

Having said that, because of the very specific and sensitive nature of your question, I believe that it is important to get greater clarification of how this matter is handled by the Industry. Therefore, my officials contacted Insurance Ireland seeking information on the general approach taken by insurers in Ireland in relation to suicide clauses. However, due to the very short turnaround time for response to your question, Insurance Ireland were not in a position to provide any perspective on the policies adopted by insurers on this issue. Instead, it has been agreed with Insurance Ireland that they undertake a survey of their members to clarify what their current practice is regarding this matter. Once this exercise has been completed and appropriately considered, Minister of State D’Arcy will write to update you on this matter as soon as possible.

Question No. 37 answered with Question No. 8.
Question No. 38 answered with Question No. 25.
Question No. 39 answered with Question No. 29.