Insurance company Aviva is preparing to transfer the administration of insurance policies from the UK to Ireland, to safeguard against the possible implications of Brexit.

The company is writing to policy holders here to inform them of the proposed changes, which it says will provide certainty into the future. 

It says that the UK withdrawal from the European Union may lead to changes in the law that could alter the way Aviva operates in other European countries. 

In a letter to customers, the company says Brexit means it is likely to lose the right to offer insurance covering risks in the EU or European Economic Area (EEA) in the same way as it does now. 

The move, which has to be approved by a court in Scotland, will involve the transfer of policies from Aviva Insurance Limited in the UK to Aviva Insurance Ireland DAC. This entity will provide cover for all risks situated in the EU or the EEA. 

The firm says it will have no impact on the terms of the policies in question and that customers will still have the same level of cover. 

However, policies will no longer qualify for protection under the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Instead, Aviva says similar protections can be offered by the Irish Insurance Compensation Fund. 

Under the terms of the UK’s Financial Services and Markets Act, court approval must be sought to proceed with a transfer of this nature. 

Policy holders are being furnished with booklets outlining the changes, along with a summary of an independent expert’s report on the proposed transfer. 

Customers opposed to the proposals can make a formal objection.

Aviva says the matter is expected to be adjudicated on by a court in Edinburgh next January. If approved, the transfer would take place on 1 February. 

Meanwhile, UK software group Scisys is moving to Ireland so it can participate in EU-funded work such as the European Space Agency's programme after Brexit, it said today. 

Scisys will create a new holding company incorporated in Ireland, with shares listed on both London's junior AIM market and Euronext Dublin, it said.

The new company will be tax resident in the UK, it added. 

Scisys is one of many companies which have moved to Ireland or opened a base there ahead of Britain's departure from the European Union next March with lawyers, financial firms and industrial groups needing to maintain ties with the bloc. 

Scisys, founded in 1980, operates in the space industry, including work for the European satellite navigation system Galileo. 

It also supplies customised software systems and services to the media, space, government and defence sectors. 

The company said the move, which has already been flagged to shareholders, would enable it to satisfy "any applicable European Union residency requirements for EU-funded work without adversely affecting the group's ability to continue contributing to space programmes". 

The Galileo satellite programme - which Scisys has been involved in since the early system design phase - has been a trigger point in Brexit negotiations. 

British technology has been instrumental in Galileo's development, and London has been angered by moves to shut British companies out of the project before Brexit next year.

The EU has said it is honouring existing laws.

Scisys said the new firm will have the same existing board and management team.

Additional reporting by Reuters