Oxford Insurance has announced plans to close the reinsurance business it runs in Ireland and move to an insurance company, leaving more than 500 employees and the company’s customers stranded in limbo.
The company, which is also a reinsurer in the US, said the move would save $1.3bn in 2020 and 2019.
It said it had taken “the necessary steps” to reduce the costs of reinsurance, with a review of its business.
Oxford said it would also close the insurance division of Allstate in the UK, and in Ireland it will also sell off the reinsurer of Lloyds Banking Group.
In a statement, it said it was taking the “appropriate actions” to “avoid disruption to the insurance industry”.
Oxbridge Insurance has not said what will happen to its customers, who will still be able to use its products and services.
It has about 1,000 employees in Ireland, and it was the company that provided reinsurance in the country for the banks in the run-up to the financial crisis.
But the reinsurers’ business in Ireland was effectively cut off, leaving some customers without coverage, and with the insurance market in Ireland now dominated by Lloyd, a reinsurance company that is not part of Oxford.
The reinsurer has about 7,000 customers in Ireland.
Irish officials have been criticised by some insurers over the insurance situation, with many claiming that their insurance coverage was too high.
Last year, the Department of Finance estimated that around 2.2 million Irish consumers had insufficient coverage.