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Insurance Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2022

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Published 14 March 2023


The Insurance (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2022 (“2022 Act”) was implemented into Irish law in July earlier this year. Certain sections of the 2022 Act were introduced immediately and others at a later period.

The purpose of the Act is ‘tidying-up’ legislation to address certain insurance-related issues arising out of the Action Plan for Insurance Reform that was published by the Programme for Government in 2020. Some of the issues addressed by the Act include price walking (charging a higher premium to renewing customers than new customers), as discussed in the previous article, and disclosures related to claims. The Act introduces a number of changes to the Consumer Insurance Contract Act 2019 (“CICA”). Please see
our previous article the introduction of CICA here.

The key changes introduced by the 2022 Act are as follows:

  • The Central Bank of Ireland (“CBI”) now has power to collect and publish data on the deduction of statement payments from settlements of certain insurance claims for the purpose of maintaining the National Claims Information Database and ensuring that it is accurate.
  • The CBI now oversees the practice of price walking and plays a role in monitoring the effectiveness of the ban that was introduced by the 2022 Regulations. The CBI is required and submit a report to the Minister for Finance on the steps taken to regulate price walking within 18 months from the date of the 2022 Act’s introduction on 8 July 2022.
  • It clarifies the hotly contested mutual disclosure requirement which was introduced by section 16 of CICA, and the changes are as follows;

• CICA requires an insurer or consumer who becomes aware of information “that would either support or prejudice the validity of the claim made by the consumer” to disclose that information to the consumer/insurer – including information that would otherwise be subject to legal privilege. The 2022 Act
expands the definition of information in this context to also mean ‘non-factual information’ through the insertion of S16A to CICA.

• The amendment by the 2022 Act states that even if an expert report is prepared for the purposes of actual or contemplated civil proceedings, a claim of litigation privilege may not be maintained for the purposes of CICA. However, the 2022 Act helpfully clarifies that the concept of legal privilege is maintained and the duty of mutual disclosure does not apply to reports prepared by a lawyer/any communication between a lawyer and ‘another person’.

• The rationale behind the introduction of this change is to encourage quicker claim settlements without involving lawyers – but in practice, it may lead to the opposite occurring owing to the fact that lawyers are better placed to procure reports and will be protected from mutual disclosure by legal privilege.

• Section 16A came into operation on 1 October 2022.

  • It amends CICA to place an obligation on Insurers to disclose any deductions (including state supports) from settlement of non-life insurance claims to consumers. The reason for the deduction and details of the amount must be provided in writing.It does not apply to monies payable to the State in relation to the RBA scheme (recovery of social welfare). This amendment came into operation on 1 January 2023.
  • It clarified the effect of fraud on innocent co-insureds arising out of CICA (section 18(4)). Where a policy of insurance excluded coverage for loss or damage to property caused by criminal/intentional act or omission by an insured, and where
    two or more persons were jointly insured on the policy, the insurer wrongdoer’s actions would not be imputed upon the innocent co-insured or prevent the innocent co-insured from making a claim. The amendment was introduced in July 2022, but this section of CICA itself has yet to be commenced.
  • It extends the scope of the temporary run-off regime scheme for UK and Gibraltar based insurers, introduced by the 2015 EU Regulations to deal with the fallout from Brexit. This allows those insurers to continue to carry out third country reinsurance business while also administering their existing portfolios under the temporary run-off regime. It also provides that firms in liquidation, which would otherwise satisfy the temporary run-off requirements, will not have their temporary run-off authorisation revoked due to entering into liquidation.

The Act has been helpful in clarifying issues arising out of previous legislation, and in particular CICA and the clarification on legal privilege in the context of mutual disclosure, which is to be welcomed by insurers. The Act has also increased the role of CBI in oversight on the insurance industry, which is welcomed from a regulatory perspective, but as insurers are no doubt aware, will increase the engagement required by Insurers with the CBI.