Insurance cover shock for 75,000

Up to 75,000 people have seen their insurance cover expire and lost their premiums as their provider, Setanta Insurance, has gone into liquidation in Malta.

Insurance cover shock for 75,000

Following an extraordinary general meeting in Malta, a decision was taken to immediately dissolve Setanta insurance.

The Central Bank confirmed that they had no role in regulating Setanta Insurance and advised that the policy holders immediately seek a new provider.

A Central Bank spokes-person said: “The Central Bank will require Setanta to write to all policyholders to advise them of the situation and its implications for them.

“Setanta is not in a position to confirm that claims will be met in full since any and all claims will be subject to the relevant liquidation process. Policyholders should therefore make arrangements for alternative cover without delay.”

A statement on Setanta Insurance’s website said teh company could not guarantee that claims would be honoured or that premiums would be repaid in full.

“The company is, however, not in a position to confirm that claims in this interim period will be met in full since any and all claims will be subject to the relevant liquidation process,” said the statement.

“Policyholders may wish to consider their right to cancel their policy and seek alternative coverage.

“Irrespective of whether the cancellation is made by the company or the policyholder, the company is not in a position to guarantee pro rata return of premiums.”

There were warning signs as far back as January, when Setanta Insurance said it was winding up its Irish business and ceasing to take on new customers.

Setanta Insurance had primarily focused on providing van insurance to SMEs.

The Irish Brokers Association called for the Central Bank to ensure that compensation is available for consumers impacted by the sudden liquidation.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath said that there are serious question as to whether the Central Bank insurance regulation is working.

“This is an extremely disturbing development coming, only a few months after RSA needed a bailout by its UK parent and the decision to put Quinn Insurance into administration in 2010,” said Mr McGrath.

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