Danes to pick up tab as Qu­dos goes bust

In­surer leaves 1,400 Ir­ish claims, es­ti­mated to run tens of mil­lions of euro Ir­ish In­sur­ance Com­pen­sa­tion Fund es­capes li­a­bil­ity by three weeks

The Irish Times - Business - - BUSINESS NEWS - JOE BRENNAN

Copen­hagen in­surer Qu­dos In­sur­ance has filed for bank­ruptcy, mean­ing Dan­ish au­thor­i­ties will pick up the tab for 1,400 Ir­ish claims, es­ti­mated to run into tens of mil­lions of euro. Qu­dos, which sold in­sur­ance in the Re­pub­lic through lo­cal agent Pa­trona, went into sol­vent liq­ui­da­tion in Den­mark late last month and said on De­cem­ber 4th that it was no longer pay­ing in­sur­ance claims.

The com­pany had about 50,000 Ir­ish cus­tomers at the time, mainly cov­er­ing com­mer­cial and mo­tor poli­cies, though it is un­der­stood that most of these have now been trans­ferred to other providers.

Not be li­able

Last week, the Min­is­ter for Fi­nance Paschal Dono­hoe said his depart­ment had been ad­vised by Den­mark’s fi­nance min­istry that if Qu­dos was placed into bank­ruptcy af­ter Jan­uary 1st, 2019, the Dan­ish In­sur­ance Guar­an­tee Scheme would not be li­able to meet claims.

This would have meant that the Ir­ish In­sur­ance Com­pen­sa­tion Fund (ICF) would be li­able. How­ever, Qu­dos’s fil­ing for bank­ruptcy yes­ter­day in Copen­hagen will re­sult in the Dan­ish fund tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for claims, in­clud­ing those from Ir­ish cus­tomers of the failed com­pany. Qu­dos be­gan writ­ing Ir­ish busi­ness in 2013.

In­sur­ance Ire­land, the in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tive body, wel­comed the devel­op­ment.

“Thank­fully, the cost of these claims will now be cov­ered by the Dan­ish guar­an­tee fund.

The pri­or­ity now is en­sur­ing that Ir­ish pol­i­cy­hold­ers with out­stand­ing claims are given clar­ity on how and when their claims will be set­tled by the Dan­ish Guar­an­tee Fund,” a spokesman for the or­gan­i­sa­tion said.

The Dan­ish Fi­nan­cial Su­per­vi­sory Au­thor­ity (DFSA) said the coun­try’s com­pen­sa­tion fund cov­ers claims in­curred be­fore the date of the bank­ruptcy and up to four weeks af­ter that the date.

“If a pol­i­cy­holder has a claim that is cov­ered by the guar­an­tee fund, the claim must be re­ported as soon as pos­si­ble and no later than 20 June 2019,” the au­thor­ity said, ad­ding that claims re­ported to Qu­dos up un­til now are re­garded as re­ported to the guar­an­tee fund, and that it has opened a hot­line for any in­quiries.

Al­ter­na­tive cover

The Cen­tral Bank said that it is “strongly rec­om­mend­ing that the small num­ber of re­main­ing Ir­ish pol­i­cy­hold­ers ar­range al­ter­na­tive cover with im­me­di­ate ef­fect”.

It added that it is work­ing with the DFSA to en­sure that all Ir­ish pol­i­cy­hold­ers are iden­ti­fied and com­mu­ni­cated with directly.

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