FBD defends company's initial response to compensation case

Monday, March 1

By Ciarán Mather

The chief executive of FBD Insurance has defended the company's initial hesitance in paying out Covid-19 insurance payments to policyholders last year.

Last month, The High Court ruled that four pubs - Sinnott's, The Leopardstown Inn and Lemon and Duke in County Dublin, along with Sean's Bar in County Athlone - are entitled to compensation from Insurance FBD following their closures related to the pandemic.

CEO Tómas Ó' Mídheach explained the company's decision by saying: 'When the case was first considered the view of FBD and the board was genuinely that there was no liability existed on this policy.'

'At the time the decision was made, I think it was appropriate, given what was believed by FBD and the legal counsel given.'

'When you have a genuine difference of opinion, then legal certainty is vital.'

He added that FBD has since begun paying out the maximum it could to all policyholders with similar policies.

Despite the company reporting profits of €112.48 million in 2019, it revealed that average premiums were down 3 per cent across the portfolio during the year, with private motor premiums down 5.7 per cent, farm down 1.5 per cent, home down 2.2 per cent and commercial renewals were up 2.8 per cent.

Mr. O' Mídheach has since informed The Irish Independent that 350 of the 1,100 customers covered by the policies have sought and received interim payments, pending the final decision on the quantum of compensation.

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