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Enterprise collapse prompts questions in EU parliament

The collapse of a Gibraltar-based insurance firm has sparked a series of questions in the European Parliament.

Enterprise Insurance went into liquidation last month, leaving thousands of policy holders across Europe in limbo, Irish MEP Mairead McGuinness said, adding that 14,000 Irish consumers have been affected by the liquidation.

“Although the insurance contracts remain in force legally, it is unclear whether pending or future claims can be paid by the company given its financial situation,” she said.

“Irish consumers appear to be safe for now because the relevant underwriter has agreed to repay the insurance premiums.”

This is a cross-border issue affecting consumers from all over Europe, Ms McGuinness said before tabling a series of questions before the Parliament.

She asked: “Are there any safeguards in EC law to protect consumers whose insurers go into liquidation, by means of refunds or alternative cover?”

Ms McGuinness further told the Parliament that many affected consumers were not immediately aware of their situation because they were sold insurance by a broker, and were unaware that Enterprise Insurance was their insurance provider.

“Under EC law, are there any reporting obligations on brokers to inform consumers of their potential lack of insurance in such a situation?”