Q&A: Check to see if you're covered by Danes - and move quickly if you are
Qudos Insurance, a Danish business providing insurance to 50,000 Irish customers, has gone into liquidation. Here's what you need to know next.
What does that mean?
If you're a customer with Qudos, you need to get cover somewhere else. And this liquidation is particularly significant if you're somebody who has an outstanding claim with Qudos. There's a possibility now the claim won't be paid. Although technically your cover remains valid, a question mark has arisen over whether Qudos will be able to pay out on claims, so you're taking a serious risk if you don't find alternative cover.
But I've never heard of Qudos - so doesn't that mean I'll be OK?
Not necessarily. If you bought your insurance through a broker the ultimate provider may be Qudos. Check your policy documents to see if Qudos is listed on it, and contact your broker if you have any questions.
What if I have a claim outstanding with Qudos - how do you know I might not be paid?
Qudos' liquidators have put claim payments on hold. Their job is to secure as much money as they can in order to pay Qudos's creditors, and they've paused payments because they say they need to find out more information about the company. The liquidators say they should be able to provide more information about claim payments within one or two weeks. It may turn out that they are able to cover all outstanding claims. Or, alternatively, it may not.
So will I be left on the hook?
Hopefully not. Denmark has a guarantee fund that is designed to step in and pay compensation if an insurance company is liquidated. The Central Bank of Ireland is engaging with the Danish authorities on the matter at the moment and it may end up being the case that you can claim from this fund. The fund covers all consumer policies - but not all commercial ones - so if your insurance is for your business you may not be covered by this fund. Contact the Central Bank or your broker to get more information on what to do next.
Is there any entity in Ireland which can pay me?
There's a fund here called the Insurance Compensation Fund which may be able to step in. It does provide cover when insurers regulated in other EU member states are liquidated. But again, not all commercial insurance claims are covered by the fund, and not all consumer insurance claims will be paid in full, so again you need to discuss the matter further with your broker and/or the Central Bank of Ireland.
Could I be affected by this even if I'm not a Qudos customer?
As we've seen in the past with the collapse of Setanta Insurance and Quinn Insurance, there is a precedent for ordinary insurance customers having to fork out levies in order to cover the costs associated with liquidated insurers. We still have to find out more detail from the liquidators, and it will probably take some time before the full consequences of the company's collapse become clear in their entirety.