Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland in appeal over Setanta liabilities

The Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland has lodged an appeal to the Supreme Court over the allocation of the liabilities of Setanta Insurance which collapsed in 2014.

If it loses the appeal, motorists could face a premium of more than €50 added to their car insurance bills. The Court of Appeal ruled in March the MIBI should cover the cost of the 1,700 claims involved which total €90m.

Earlier this month, when the Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal, it described the issue involved as “a very serious one”.

The MIBI has now lodged their formal Intention of Notice to Proceed with Appeal with the Court. The case arises out of a High Court judgement which found the MIBI was liable for claims against the Maltese registered Setanta following that company’s placement in liquidation.

The MIBI maintains that these liabilities should pass to the State’s Insurance Compensation Fund, a practice previously established following the failure of PMPA and Quinn Insurance. If liabilities are not transferred to the Insurance Compensation Fund, the MIBI believes it will result in an additional cost of approximately €52.50 to the average motor insurance premium.

Patrick O’Brien, chief executive of the MIBI said: “Like the Supreme Court, we believe this is a very serious issue. As the implications of this case will have a significant impact on motor insurance policyholders, the motor insurance market, as well as the ongoing operations of the MIBI, it deserves the judgement of the highest court in the land.”


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