MIBI moves to appeal Setanta Insurance judgment

Insurers’ body argues it should not be liable for €90m in outstanding claims

It has been estimated that last week’s judgement could add a €50 once-off premium to car insurance bills.

It has been estimated that last week’s judgement could add a €50 once-off premium to car insurance bills.

 

The board of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland has decided to apply to the Supreme Court for leave to appeal last week’s Court of Appeal judgment in relation to Setanta Insurance, the Malta-registered company that collapsed in 2014.

The Court of Appeal upheld a previous High Court decision that MIBI should be liable to pay out claims against persons who were insured with Setanta.

It is estimated that some €90 million in claims are outstanding to about 1,750 claimants. MIBI has argued that the cost of these should be met by the Insurance Compensation Fund.

It has also been estimated that the Court of Appeal’s judgement could add a once-off premium of €50 to car insurance bills.

Legal advice

The MIBI board met today and took the decision to take the fight to the Supreme Court after receiving legal advice and consulting with its 40 members.

Commenting on MIBI’s decision, Patrick O’Brien, the bureau’s chief executive, said: “Based on the complexity of this case, the precedent it establishes in exposing the MIBI to the costs of future insurer failures and the resulting implications for the MIBI, Setanta policyholders, injured claimants, the motor insurance industry and policyholders, we believe it is critical that this matter be ultimately determined by the Supreme Court.

“The MIBI continues to believe that the appropriate entity to compensate the victims impacted by the liquidation of Setanta is the Insurance Compensation Fund. The MIBI was not established for this purpose and if the current precedent stands then it will have wholesale implications for the future of the motor insurance industry in Ireland.”