Dáil Éireann - Volume 362 - 10 December, 1985

Written Answers. - Insurance Cover.

29. Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Industry, Trade, Commerce and Tourism if he will make a statement on the investigations carried out by his Department arising from the Adjournment Debate on Wednesday, 20 February 1985, in relation to the difficulty that specific people have in insuring the contents of their flats and apartments in the Cork area.

Minister for Industry, Trade, Commerce and Tourism (Mr. J. Bruton): Since the Adjournment Debate on 20 February last, I have written to the [1610] Deputy on four occasions, responding to the points raised by him or seeking further information in respect of the cases referred to by him.

Of the four cases referred to my Department by the Deputy, insurance cover has been provided in one instance. As indicated in three separate letters to the Deputy, attempts to contact two of the three remaining individuals to get further details which are necessary for investigation have so far been unsuccessful. Attempts to obtain insurance cover for the fourth individual have, so far, been unsuccessful. A letter is being issued to the Deputy outlining the reasons for this. The position generally on the availability of household insurance for flats is as set out in reply to similar questions in October 1984 and in reply on the Adjournment Debate of 20 February 1985.

I must also point out to the Deputy as I did in my letter to him last June that my primary responsibility as the supervisory authority for insurance is to see whether companies meet their statutory solvency and reserving requirements. In this regard I must respect the right of any insurer to refuse to accept a particular risk if it does not meet underwriting criteria. I cannot compel a company to provide a person with insurance cover and while cases will be investigated to see what can be done I cannot, naturally, undertake the role of insurance broker.