Insurers ‘refusing mortgage protection cover because of COVID’

Two TDs from the north west are hitting out at insurance companies that are refusing mortgage protection cover to people deemed to be at a higher risk of getting the Covid virus.

Sligo/Leitrim Independent Deputy Marian Harkin and Donegal Sinn Fein Deputy Pearse Doherty says the insurance companies’ move is affecting people who have not even had Covid.

Reports have emerged of people unable get mortgage protection insurance if they have had the Covid virus or are simply deemed to be at a higher risk of contracting it.

Among them are frontline workers, including nurses.

Speaking to Ocean FM News, Deputy Harkin gave a personal example.

In some cases, it has resulted in people being unable to complete the purchase of a house, despite having paid a substantial deposit.

Ocean FM News has also learned that insurance company representatives from the North are now visiting people in the Republic who have been refused mortgage insurance to medically assess them for cover.

Deputy Doherty says it’s discrimination that has to be stopped.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe told Deputy Harkin he was aware of reports of some customers experiencing issues in obtaining mortgage protection cover as a result of having higher-risk conditions, particularly in the context of Covid-19.

He said it was expected insurance firms would treat their customers fairly, honestly, and in accordance with the Central Bank’s Consumer Protection Code.

He also said his officials had contacted representative body Insurance Ireland on the issue.