Who is a consumer with additional needs?
AA Ireland strive to provide consumers, especially those who require additional assistance or needs, with the utmost service and assistance.
The Consumer Protection Code outlines for AA Ireland who they should consider as a consumer with additional needs and require additional assistance. A consumer with additional needs is a person who either:
a) has the capacity to make his or her own decisions but who, because of individual circumstances, may require assistance to do so (for example, hearing impaired or visually impaired persons); and/or
b) has limited capacity to make his or her own decisions and who requires assistance to do so (for example, persons with intellectual disabilities or mental health difficulties).
What requirements apply to AA Ireland when interacting with consumers with additional needs?
As AA Ireland is a regulated financial entity, it must comply with the Central Bank of Ireland’s Consumer Protection Code. Provision 3.1. of the General Requirements of the Consumer Protection Code outlines the requirements which apply to AA Ireland in its interactions with an identified consumer with additional needs.
The Consumer Protection Code states that where a consumer with additional needs is identified, AA Ireland must ensure that this consumer is provided with reasonable arrangements and or assistance that may be necessary to facilitate this consumer in their business dealings with AA Ireland.
Categories of Consumers with Additional Needs:
AA Ireland considers a number of additional needs categories where a consumer may require additional assistance from AA Ireland during the course of their business dealings with us, these include:
- Health – In certain circumstances, AA Ireland consider that a customer may need additional assistance due to their age, a disabilities or illness that affect their ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.
- Life events – AA Ireland also considers a major life event such as bereavement, job loss, relationship breakdown, insurance claimant as a reason which may trigger the need for AA Ireland to provide additional assistance to a consumer to aid them in their business dealings with AA Ireland.
- Resilience – Where a consumer may not have the ability to withstand financial or emotional shocks, AA Ireland may consider it necessary to provide additional assistance to them.
- Capability – Where a customer of AA Ireland may have a gap in knowledge or confidence relating to financial matters and/or managing money. Additionally, AA Ireland wants to ensure customers who may lack confidence in reading or digital skills are provided with accurate and clear information.
Potential customers with additional needs may include (non-exhaustive list):
- Barriers in clear communication (including learning difficulties and English not being their first language, dyslexia).
- Disabilities (including where a disability reduces someone’s physical or mental capacity).
- Customer with health issues (including in cases of illness, whether physical or mental illness, severe or long term).
- A sudden diagnosis of a serious illness to the customer or close family member.
- Personal circumstances of the customer (factors such as financial difficulties, bereavement, caring responsibilities or redundancy).
- The customer's age, particularly older and younger people. For example, a younger person may be considered inexperienced in financial products and the older person may be less technologically able.
- Insurance Claimant – Where a customer has experienced a recent claim, for example, in a motor traffic accident, a recent theft, or a fire damage claim to a property.
What arrangements do AA Ireland have in place for Consumers with Additional Needs?
- Self-Declaration: Consumers can request additional assistance from AA Ireland who can, to the best of its abilities, make reasonable arrangements to interact with that customer and assist them in their business dealings with AA Ireland.
- Written Terms of Business: AA Ireland’s Terms of Business is available on our website. The Terms of Business is the document which outlines important information about how AA Ireland conduct business. This document can be found here: https://www.theaa.ie/aa/about-us/terms-of-business.aspx
- AA Ireland Web Functionality: AA Ireland has functionality on our website by which consumers with additional needs can communicate with us and your query can be referred to the appropriate customer service representative to aid with.
- Audio Internet Reader: AA Ireland’s website has compatibility that allows users to enable an audio reader on our website. To do this, when on our website theaa.ie - the user should right click on their mouse and select ‘read aloud’.
- Webchat on our website: We have webchat function on our website which enables customers, for example who may be hearing impaired, to communicate with us in writing, who can be directed to the appropriate department for correspondence and any policy queries or amendments.
- AA Ireland Web Bots: Our website has Web Bots which directs vulnerable consumers to our additional assistance FAQ section, webforms and customers can be directed to the appropriate department for correspondence and any policy queries or amendments.
If I am a consumer with additional needs, what do I do next?
Please contact us on xxx and we can note your policy records that you are a consumer with additional needs. This will enable us to provide you with the appropriate arrangements and assistance.
Additionally, you may complete the webform and we will be in contact with you via the contact method most suitable to you.
If I am a consumer with additional needs, can I nominate someone to deal with my insurance?
Yes, you can authorise someone to deal with insurance policies or AA Membership. Once this individual has authorisation, we can communicate with this person on your behalf.
To authorise someone on your behalf, you will need to contact us on 01-6740447 and once we speak to you to confirm, we can then deal with the nominated person.
If am no longer a consumer with additional needs, what do I do next?
If you no longer feel you are a consumer with additional needs, please contact us on xx and we can update your policy records to reflect this change.
If I am a consumer with additional needs, does this affect my policy cover?
No, being a consumer with additional needs has no bearing on the level of your insurance cover.
If I am a consumer with additional needs, does this cost extra money?
No, there are no costs for being a consumer with additional needs.