Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald today said that insurance companies must proactively offer support to struggling SMEs and other citizens who are continuing to pay insurance premiums.
The East Derry MLA was speaking following a meeting of the Economy Committee at which she pressed the Association of British Insurers (ABI) on the lack of action and support provided by big insurance firms.
The party’s Economy spokesperson said:
“Today I pressed the ABI on their members’ inaction and unwillingness to reach out to and support struggling small businesses and households.
“Businesses are currently facing a situation where they must continue to pay premiums to big insurance firms, who continue to collect these premiums hand over fist.
“Where businesses are covered explicitly for business interruption they must have claims honoured fully and in rapid time.
“Where businesses are not explicitly covered, or where grey areas exist, the insurance industry must be leading efforts to offer a range of payment supports that will prevent businesses going under unnecessarily and further job losses.
“To date, however, there has been no industry-wide approach to offering rebates, deferrals, and other meaningful payment support options to business and families. This is solely an issue of flexibility and willingness on the part of insurers to play their role in this crisis as everyone else has chipped in and sacrificed.
“The same is true for families continuing to pay full car insurance premiums, despite a dramatic reduction in car travel across society. Insurers should be reaching out to families in distress at this time and offering rebates, deferrals and initiatives of that nature.
“Insurers are leaving families and businesses high and dry in their moment of greatest need.”