Ireland is a common law jurisdiction, and the law governing insurance disputes is derived from statute and case law. There has been a divergence between Irish and UK insurance law in many areas since the implementation of the UK Insurance Act 2015. However, the Consumer Insurance Contracts Bill 2017 contains proposals that, if enacted, will re-align Irish and UK insurance legislation in a number of areas including warranties and the pre-contractual duty of good faith.
Litigation is still the most consistent avenue for pursuing insurance disputes in Ireland, but in recent years there has been an increase in the use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as mediation and arbitration. This is reflected by the introduction of the Mediation Act 2017, which requires solicitors to advise their clients of the availability of mediation and entitles courts to stay proceedings to encourage the parties to mediate.
In recent years there has been an increase in insurance regulation and consumer protection measures as reflected in the introduction of the Consumer Protection Code 2012, the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman Act 2018, and the implementation of the Insurance Distribution Directive in October 2018.
There is also an increased use of technology in the insurance industry, as well as by insureds...