We are approaching the close of the first half of a tumultuous year. In a normal year at this point, we would evaluate progress on our advocacy activities and plan for the second half of the year. Nothing about 2020 has been normal. We are battling a global pandemic, 100 days after the general election Ireland does not have a Government and our country faces a Covid-19 impairment charge of €30 billion. For the last three months the entire country has focused on containing the spread of the virus.
Insurers commenced work on their business continuity plans in early February and were well positioned to implement remote working procedures once the lock-down was enforced in mid-March. A key priority of insurers has been to support their customers: ensuring continuity of payment of their policyholders’ pensions, medical claims and to compensate those who have suffered insurable losses. Insurers have provided support through a number of forbearance initiatives which have seen elements of policies suspended during the lockdown as well as relief on premiums for thousands of business and personal customers.
The agenda and focus
In this most abnormal of years, Covid-19 will remain a central focus of our advocacy work, but it won’t be our exclusive focus. We look forward to the formation of a new government. On behalf of our members Insurance Ireland has four principle priorities for the new administration:
- Ensure that Ireland continues to position itself as a jurisdiction that is at the heart of Europe and a location from where insurers can continue to export insurance to 110 countries throughout the world.
- Develop initiatives that support the growth in the number of people saving for a pension: including implementing the policy and roll-out of legislation to put in place a much needed Auto-Enrolment pension for those workers who are not covered by a public service or private pension.
- Keep the voice of private health insurers and their customers strong and heard in the debate on future health policy.
- Ensure that reforms deliver best value for customers and their general insurance providers.
Brexit and beyond Brexit
In addition to Government formation a key advocacy priority for Insurance Ireland will be the continued developments of Brexit as we move through 2020. A parallel stream to Brexit will be the future direction of the European Union and how this will impact and support Ireland as a market to write Insurance cover.
Director of Government Affairs