Extra financial security of Life Companies

Life assurance companies like Irish Life are low risk organisations that have layers of protection to give financial security to policyholders. There's also additional protection from the oversight and regulation of life companies. The range of safeguards to protect policyholders includes the following:


Unit linked funds

Policyholder funds are usually invested by the life company in unit-linked funds. A customer buys units in a fund. If you wish to withdraw your investment the life company sell your units and pays the value at that time.

Assets to match policyholder liabilities

A life company is required to hold all the assets underlying its unit linked policies at all times (plus an additional amount for solvency margin which is described below). A key difference between a life company and a bank, from a regulatory standpoint, is that a bank is not required to hold the full amount of its deposits as liquid assets. As a result, there is no equivalent concept to a 'run on a bank' for a life company, since insurance companies hold matching assets at all times.

Ring Fenced Assets

Life companies must be self sufficient - their assets must be separate from any parent company. The assets and liabilities of Irish Life cannot be transferred to other parts of the business, such as security for a loan to acquire assets or to fund the business.

Capital Reserves – Solvency Margin

Under EU regulations, in addition to having to hold all the assets (units) underlying its policies, life companies must hold additional reserves on top of this. This is known as 'solvency margin' and it gives an additional layer of safety. On top of the amount of the reserves (capital) a life company must hold under EU regulations, the Central Bank of Ireland requires companies to hold a further 50% of reserves. So a life company must have: Assets to fully match policyholder liabilities PLUS EU solvency reserves. PLUS 50% extra reserves for the Central Bank of Ireland

Contact Us
Irish Life Call: +353 (0)1 704 1010
Canada Life Call: 1850 203 203

Email: customerservice@irishlife.ie

Mon - Thurs: 8am to 8pm, Fri: 10am to 6pm, Sat: 9am to 1pm
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Irish Life Visitor Centre
Lwr Abbey St
Dublin 1

Mon - Fri: 9am to 5pm


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Irish Life Financial Services ltd. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Irish Life Assurance plc. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
Irish Life Financial Services ltd and Irish Life Assurance plc Registered Office - Lower Abbey Street, PO Box 129, Freepost, Dublin 1. Phone: 01 704 2000, E-mail: customerservice@irishlife.ie.
Irish Life Financial Services Registered Number 489221. Irish Life Assurance plc Registered Number 152576.
In the interest of customer service, we will record and monitor calls.