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Setanta Insurance, Cover or Not

Article by Eamonn Fleming

As a result of the collapse of Setanta Insurance Company in 2004 approximately 1,750 claims remain in existence against policy holders with that insurance company arising out of road traffic accidents which the injured parties are claiming were caused as a result of the fault of the Setanta policy holders. The collapse of that insurance company has left a lot of policy holders with Setanta in a worried position as to whether successful claims against them will lead to the policy holders being personally responsible for the damages that the policy holders negligence may have caused.

Liquidator was appointed to Setanta in April 2014. Setanta was an Insurance Company registered in Malta and the liquidator cancelled all Setanta insurance policies on the 29th of May 2014. An application was brought to the High Court to see if the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland or the Insurance Compensation Fund were liable for claims against Setanta. The Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) was set up between the Government and the insurance companies to deal with claims arising from uninsured drivers. The Insurance Compensation Fund is used to cover claims of an insolvent insurance company.

The High Court decided that under the terms of the MIBI agreement the MIBI had a responsibility to pay out in respect of claims against persons insured by Setanta. The MIBI has now brought an appeal against this High Court decision to the Court of Appeal arguing that the High Court’s decision in relation to the MIBI’s responsibility is not correct and should be set aside. No decision has yet been given by the Court of Appeal on the matter but if it were to overturn the High Court decision it would leave a lot of very worried and exposed Setanta policy holders.

Please see separate article to follow in relation to the liability or otherwise of the Irish Insurance Corporation Fund.

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