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Consumer Insurance Contracts Act 2019 (CICA)

The Consumer Insurance Contracts Act 2019 (the Act) was signed into law on 26 December 2019. Certain sections of the Act are effective from 1st September 2020, with further sections to be introduced in September 2021. 

The Act makes changes to the landscape of insurance in Ireland. The main aim of the Act is to improve the transparency of policy wordings and insurer procedures and also strengthen your consumer rights. 

What does this mean for you as a valued Liberty Insurance customer?

At Liberty Insurance, we take our regulatory requirements seriously. We are committed to ensuring you have all the information you need before and after you take out a policy with us. We are taking steps now to ensure our policies and procedures are updated to comply with this legislation.

What changes can you expect to see?

Over the coming weeks and months, you will see some positive changes in how we operate and serve you as our customer, for example:

  • Short period cancellation rates will no longer apply
  • Policy booklets will be updated in line with this legislation
  • Our claims handling procedures will undergo some changes
  • Pre and post-purchase information will be enhanced

What are the main changes in effect from 1st September 2020?

Section 7

Addresses the principle of insurable interest as a requirement of a consumer making a valid claim under a policy. “Insurable interest” means that you must suffer a financial loss or other hardship if the asset(s) you are insuring is destroyed. This section states that where you are required to have an insurable interest in the asset you are insuring, as is the case with motor and home insurance, then that interest shall not extend beyond a factual expectation of economic loss if that asset is destroyed, damaged or lost.

What this means for you: This new regulation means that we, as your insurer, cannot refuse liability by reason only that the name of the person who may benefit under the policy is not specified in the policy document.

Sections 11 & 13

Introduces a cooling off period of 14 working days, together with additional cancellation rights for the consumer.

What this means for you: The new regulation extends the current cooling off period from 14 days to 14 working days.

Section 15

Creates post-contractual duties for the consumer and insurer. The principle of “utmost good faith” is no longer valid. 

What this means for you: The contract between you and Liberty Insurance requires both parties to be honest and not hide any information that would impact the insurance contract. Now the onus is on us as the insurer to ask all relevant questions. You as a consumer are required to answer honestly and with reasonable care.

Sections 16-19

Insurers are under a duty to handle claims promptly and fairly, notify consumers of a third-party claim (if not made by the consumer) as soon as possible and inform consumers when a claim is settled or closed.

What this means for you: This means that Liberty Insurance must continue to process claims quickly and fairly, keep you informed if a claim is made against you and tell you when a claim is resolved.

Sections 21-25

Makes changes to the insurers right to subrogation for any claim and extends third party rights. This includes the right of a third party to pursue an insurer directly via legal proceedings.

What this means for you: This means that third parties are able to recover money against the insurer where the insured is deceased, insolvent or in certain other circumstances. The right of the insurer to pursue another person in the name of the insured is limited.

How can Liberty Insurance customers find out more?

You can find details of the full Consumer Insurance Contracts Act 2019 at www.irishstatutebook.ieWe will also continue to keep you up to date on any further developments that may impact you as a consumer relating to the Act.