The Central Bank has published its quarterly newsletter for Q4 2018, which contains articles on Brexit preparedness, recent observations from a thematic review of underwriting, as well as recent supervisory updates from the Central Bank and EIOPA. Supervisory Priorities for the Insurance Directorate for 2019 are identified as financial and operational resilience, industry response to disruptive changes, consumer protection and culture and diversity.

On the issue of Brexit preparedness, the Central Bank provides an overview of the notification process and the eligibility criteria for Irish insurers to avail of the UK Government's Temporary Permissions Regime after the withdrawal date. Under the UK EEA Passport Rights (Amendment) Regulations 2018 an insurer that is authorised to carry on regulated activities in the UK through a freedom of establishment or freedom of services passport can obtain a Part 4A permission to carry on those activities for a maximum of three years, while they seek authorisation as an insurer or third country branch from the UK PRA. The Central Bank also reminds firms of the expectation to inform prospective and existing customers of the potential impact that Brexit may have on their ability to service their contracts and of the relevant contingency measures being taken to ensure service continuity after 29 March 2019.

Feedback from the Central Bank's thematic review of underwriting is also contained in this edition of the newsletter. While some firms demonstrate good progress since 2016, two thirds of all firms will be issued with a risk mitigation plan. Among the Central Bank's key findings are the need for actuarial opinions: to include all material underwriting policies and processes; be forward looking and take into account planned changes to the business; consider the links between underwriting and other aspects of the business; and be based on up to date data.

This article contains a general summary of developments and is not a complete or definitive statement of the law. Specific legal advice should be obtained where appropriate.