Qudos, which filed for liquidation in Denmark on 27 November, had mostly sold motor insurance policies to Irish customers via agents and brokers, but there were a number of property insurance policies.
What is Qudos and what’s happened?
Qudos Insurance A/S is a Danish insurance company. In October it announced that it would cease writing new business, and last week it was announced that it had entered into ‘solvent liquidation’.
Why does that matter here in Ireland?
Because Qudos has around 50,000 policyholders here in Ireland. Most of these policies are motor, commercial motor, logistics and haulage, and household policies.
I’ve never heard of Qudos, how do they have so many Irish customers?
While it may not be a household name, it is a Danish company regulated by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority and was able to operate here under what is called “a freedom of services basis”.
In a nutshell, that is a provision that allows an insurance provider to underwrite a contract in one European Economic Area country, even if the risk is based in a different country in the EEA.
So while Qudos is based in Denmark, and had no presence in Ireland, it would have operated through brokers here.
A customer may not be familiar with the name, but their insurance may be with Qudos if their broker sorted a deal with the Danish company.
So how do I know if I’m a Qudos customer?
Check your policy documents or insurance disc. Failing that, give your broker a call and see if they can clarify who they went to for your insurance.
I am a Qudos customer - what does this mean for me?
If you had a policy that runs for more than a year, your cover ends a year to the day from when the liquidation was announced.
Therefore, your policy with Qudos will end either on the expiration date, or November 27 2019 - whichever comes first.
However the Central Bank here in Ireland does not believe Qudos customers should wait around for either of those eventualities.
It says that based on the uncertainty around the payment of claims, Qudos customers should contact their insurance broker to arrange alternative insurance cover.
Insurance Ireland - the body representing insurers - has said brokers should be able to provide Qudos customers with alternative cover which will remain in place until their renewal date at no extra cost, though there may be an administration charge.
Hang on, what does the Central Bank mean by “uncertainty around the payment of claims”? What if I have to make a claim on my insurance?
That’s where there is some uncertainty. Claims are not being paid at the moment, while the liquidators get together all the relevant information on the company. Qudos said it expects to have information on that front within one to two weeks.
Here in Ireland, it remains to be seen whether outstanding claims will be paid out by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority or the Irish Insurance Regulator.