4 January 2018
By Elaine Murphy
Insurance industry needs to deal with claims efficiently and fairly
People who may have suffered damage to vehicles, property or building contents during Storm Eleanor should take the time to check their insurance policies and ensure their rights as consumers are fully vindicated, according to Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath TD.
Deputy McGrath commented, “The flooding associated with Storm Eleanor has caused significant damage to both homes and businesses in affected parts of the country. It is important that customers are fully aware of their rights under their household or commercial insurance policy.
“The only sure way of assessing whether the damage is covered by the insurance policy is to check both the Policy Schedule and the Policy Booklet. People affected by the Storm should make contact with their insurance company or broker immediately. It is important that customers record any damage inflicted on their property as a result of Storm Eleanor.
“Receipts for any temporary repairs should be kept and the cost of temporary alternative accommodation is normally covered by the insurer if the home is uninhabitable.
“If customers are still unsure as to what they are entitled to they may wish to obtain representation by way of a Regulated Loss Assessor. If a customer is engaging with a Loss Assessor they should make sure that they are regulated by the Central Bank, that they have the capacity to deal with a large number of claims and that they have the necessary expertise to provide this essential service.
“I would also encourage insurance companies to dedicate sufficient resources to relevant parts of the country so that customers can have their claims dealt with in a timely manner. It is also important that this storm is not used as an excuse by insurance companies to increase premiums for businesses and households.
“It is incumbent upon those within the insurance sector to make sure that compensation claims are dealt with in a fair and timely manner so that further stress is not added to an already difficult situation for those affected”, concluded McGrath.