Wexford-based insurance underwriter steps in after firm ceases trading

By David Tucker

Published 30/07/2016 | 00:00

A Wexford-based insurance underwriter is to refund outstanding premiums to 14,000 motorists hit by the collapse of Enterprise Insurance, the Gibraltar-based insurer which ceased trading on Friday.

Wrightway Underwriting, a fully-owned subsidiary of Zurich Insurance, entered into an agreement with Enterprise Insurance in 2014 to offer motor insurance in Ireland through the Irish company's broker network.

'Wrightway has committed to helping its broker clients deal with affected policy-holders and, with this in mind, Wrightway has decided to make an ex gracia payment to its brokers to pass onto their policy holders which is equal to the value of the premiums from now until the end of their current policy contracts,' it said in a statement.

The collapse of Enterprise Insurance comes just two years after that of Malta-regulated Setanta Insurance, which only wrote business in Ireland, leaving €90 million of outstanding claims.

A spokesman for Wrightway declined to say how much was involved, other than it was a 'significant' amount which would be funded by the company's own resources.

The Gibraltar Financial Services Commission, Enterprise Insurance's regulator, said that all policies are still in force and that customers do not need to take any action at this stage, the Irish Central Bank has advised affected motorists to seek alterative cover.

Responding to the news, Wright Insurance Group Ltd, which operates in Wexford under the names Wright Insurance Company and Wrightcover.ie, said there was no ownership connection between the group and Wrightway Underwriting.

'Wrightway Underwriting Ltd, which was the distribution company for Enterprise Insurance Ltd in Ireland, was purchased some nine years ago by Zurich Insurance plc and remains a fully owned subsidiary of the Zurich Group.

'We confirm that none of 140,000 customers of our Group, have any adverse effects from the Enterprise Insurance insolvency. No action is required on behalf of any of our customers or agents,' the Wright Insurance Group said in a statement.

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