A businesswoman claims that Zurich Life wrongly canceled her critically ill husband’s million-euro life insurance policy for which she paid over half a million euros in premiums. over the past 32 years.
Carmel Ryan, from Oaklee, Model Farm Road, Cork, says she was never contacted by Zurich Life Assurance plc before canceling the policy a month and a half after the monthly premium of €4,868 was missed due to a temporary shortage of funds. into the couple’s bank account.
Zurich now says she will only reinstate the policy if her husband Sean Ryan takes out a new one. Mrs Ryan says her husband is gravely ill and would not meet the underwriting criteria for such reinstatement.
She sued Zurich, of Frascati Road, Blackrock, Dublin, and her brokers SYS Mortgages DAC, Quintins Way, Pearse Street, Nenagh, Co Tipperary.
The case was admitted to the fast-track commercial court on Monday by Judge Denis McDonald on consent between the parties.
In her action, Ms Ryan claims that monthly direct debit payments to Zurich have been made since May 1990 from an account which is used for very limited purposes, including the payment of premiums.
The monthly premium due September 1, 2021 was not collected because, due to an administrative oversight and inadvertence, there was “a temporary deficiency of funds in the account”, she says in an affidavit .
The policy provides a 30-day grace period for missed payments. Ms Ryan says Zurich maintains it wrote to her twice about the missed payments in September 2021, and again the following October 18, voiding the policy. She says she never received those letters.
Zurich, she says, also claims to have attempted to contact its broker, but due to a “systems or administrative error” on the part of one or both of the defendants, the information was not released to SYS. Mortgages.
Zurich refused to reinstate the police, refuted its responsibility in a correspondence with its lawyer and it then sued.
She says she has paid Zurich €568,643 in premiums over the past 32 years and she predicts it will be worth €1,064,798 when her husband dies.
She seeks declarations and orders, including that the termination of the policy was in breach of contract and that the policy is valid and in effect, as well as damages.