What is the Consumer Insurance Contracts Act 2019?
The Act provides a higher level of protection to consumers by applying a consumer centric lens to insurance contracts. Insurers and intermediaries are required to take additional responsibility in respect of consumer interactions at all key phases of the customer journey including policy assessment, claims handling and renewals. The interpretation of pre-contractual questions and contract terms, as part of this customer journey, which are most favourable to the consumer, will prevail.
When does it come into effect?
The Consumer Insurance Contracts Act 2019 came into effect on 1st September 2020. All sections of The Act became effective on 1st September 2020, apart from sections 8,9,12 and 14(1-5) which are due to come into effect on 1st September 2021.
Does it apply to all types of insurance?
The Act applies to all non-life and life insurance contracts including renewals that take place after the commencement of the Act.
Where can I see the full details of this Act?
You can find details of the full Consumer Insurance Contracts Act 2019 at http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2019/act/53/enacted/en/index.html
What does the Act do & what does it mean for me?
The key objectives of the Act are to ensure that consumers are being treated fairly by their respective Insurer/Intermediary and that there is transparency in all communications to avoid any ambiguity. It aims to address some of the perceived imbalances between insurers and consumers, to increase transparency for the consumer and to strengthen their rights.
Do I need to do anything as a consumer?
Most of the responsibilities of this Act lie with the insurer/intermediary who is handling your insurance policy. The main requirements for you as a consumer is to ensure that you are continuing to answer all the questions that have been asked of you, honestly and with reasonable care and attention and that you continue to abide by the terms and conditions of your contract as you normally would.
Will I still get a No Claims Bonus or Letter of Claims History now that a schedule noting claims paid on my policy for the last 5 years?
Some home Insurance providers will still provide the Letter of Claims History as they have done up until now but others will only provide the schedule noting claims paid. Either will suffice for proof of claims history for home insurance.