Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Questions (141, 142, 143, 144)

Michael McGrath

Question:

141. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the consequences for consumers of the collapse of a company (details supplied); the number of policy holders affected; the recourse open to those consumers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51803/18]

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Michael McGrath

Question:

142. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the position for customers that had latent defects insurance and structural guarantee insurance, or both, with a company (details supplied); if his attention has been drawn to the significant consequences for these consumers; if these consumers will be transferred to another firm; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51804/18]

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Michael McGrath

Question:

143. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the consequences for consumers here of the collapse of a company (details supplied); the number of policy holders affected; the recourse open to those consumers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51806/18]

View answer

Michael McGrath

Question:

144. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the position for persons that had latent defects insurance and structural guarantee insurance with a company (details supplied); if his attention has been drawn to significant consequences for these persons; if they will be transferred to another company in view of the collapse of the company; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51807/18]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 141 to 144, inclusive, together.

The Central Bank of Ireland has advised me that it was notified by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority on 7 March 2018 that it had ordered Alpha Insurance A/S to cease writing new business including renewal of existing contracts and business with immediate effect. It was further notified on 9 May 2018 that the liquidators of the insurance company Alpha Insurance A/S had filed a petition for bankruptcy.

The Central Bank has indicated that as Alpha Insurance A/S is a Danish based insurance firm, it is subject to prudential supervision by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority, and therefore it had no role in this decision. The Central Bank has also informed me that Alpha Insurance A/S was selling non-life insurance policies, including structural warranty insurance, in Ireland through the broker network on a freedom of services basis and that it also operated in Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom and Spain. 

The Central Bank has been informed by the Danish insolvency administrators that Alpha Insurance A/S had just under 12,000 customers in Ireland (11,931):

Insurance line

No. of policies

Pet insurance 

9,316

 Latent defect/structural warranty insurance

1,595

 GAP insurance

509

 Mortgage protection

357

 Income protection

148

 Loan protection

6

 Total

 11,931

Alpha Insurance a/s has published country specific information for policyholders, including Ireland, on their website www.alphagroup.dk/ireland. While full compensation from the bankruptcy estate is unlikely, partial refunds may be available. The website gives information on how to claim premium refunds and other claims.  The Danish Guarantee Fund may also cover premium refunds for some private insurances depending on the specifics of each case.

In terms of structural warranty/latent defects insurance, in many cases this would have been initially purchased by the developer of a property or properties. Therefore, the owners of any impacted properties may wish to get in contact with the developer in the first instance to see if alternative cover can be arranged.

Ultimately, should there be a claim on a policy, there may be assistance available from the Danish Insurance Guarantee Fund in the first instance. If such an application were unsuccessful, there may then be recourse to the Irish Insurance Compensation Fund to recover 65% of the cost of a claim, up to a ceiling of €825,000 per claim subject to the particular circumstances of the claim and the relevant provisions of the Insurance Act 1964.