Court approves payment of €2.1m to meet cost of claims against collapsed insurer Setanta 

This is the 10th such payment out of the State’s Insurance Compensation Fund since 2016
Court approves payment of €2.1m to meet cost of claims against collapsed insurer Setanta 

The €2.1m payment approval was sought to meet the cost of 50 claims against the insurer. Picture: iStock

A further payment of €2.1m out of the State’s Insurance Compensation Fund concerning personal injury claims against collapsed Maltese-registered motor insurer Setanta has been approved by the High Court.

The €2.1m payment approval was sought on Monday by John Walker SC, for the State Claims Agency, to meet the cost of 50 claims against the insurer. It includes 21 third-party claims and a number of cases involving minors.

This is the 10th such application in respect of Setanta since 2016. High Court President Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the pay-out.

Last January, the High Court approved a €3.29m payout of the State’s Compensation Fund in respect of meeting the costs of 129 third-party claims against the insurer.

In 2020, the court approved an €8.35m payout, including €3.14m for legal costs concerning 161 personal injury claims. Those legal costs were a combination of costs relating to claims pre-liquidation and costs taxed or agreed pre-liquidation for agreed claims.

Setanta, incorporated in Malta, carried on business here from 2007 and had 75,000 policy holders here when it collapsed in 2014. Paul Mercicea was appointed liquidator.

Setanta made a total of €7.2m contributions to the ICF from 2007. As a result of a Supreme Court decision in 2017 that the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland was not liable for certain of the Setanta claims, those are to be dealt with by way of access to the ICF. At the time of the seventh payment in June 2020, the court was told the fund then had a balance of €80.2m.

The fund will meet some 65% of each first party claims when settled or ruled but no such cap applies to third-party claims. Setanta will also make certain payments once the final position of the assets in the liquidation is known.

Mr Mercicea previously said in an affidavit that the equivalent compensation scheme in Malta is not available to address claims against Setanta policies.

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