State’s insurance compensation fund may be tapped for Qudos claims

Danish government not liable to meet claims to collapsed Danish insurer after law change

The High Court last month approved payments of more than €20 million out of the Insurance Compensation Fund to meet a 35 per cent shortfall in awards concerning motorists insured by the collapsed Malta-based insurer Setanta Insurance

The High Court last month approved payments of more than €20 million out of the Insurance Compensation Fund to meet a 35 per cent shortfall in awards concerning motorists insured by the collapsed Malta-based insurer Setanta Insurance

 

The State’s Insurance Compensation Fund may have to be used to settle outstanding claims of Irish policy holders of the collapsed Danish insurer Qudos Insurance, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has said.

Qudos, which sold insurance in the Republic through local agent Patrona, went into solvent liquidation in Denmark late last month.

The insurer had about 50,000 Irish customers at the time it went into liquidation, with Patrona estimating there are about 1,400 outstanding claims awaiting settlement.

In answer to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesman Michael McGrath, Mr Donohoe said his department has been in contact with the Danish finance ministry, which had advised that if Qudos is placed into bankruptcy at the start of 2019, the Danish Insurance Guarantee Scheme will not be liable to meet claims.

Eligible for cover

He said that in such an instance, claimants may instead be eligible for cover from the Irish Insurance Compensation Fund (ICF).

The High Court last month approved payments of more than €20 million out of the Insurance Compensation Fund to meet a 35 per cent shortfall in awards concerning motorists insured by the collapsed Malta-based insurer Setanta Insurance, which went into liquidation in 2014.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr McGrath said questions have to be asked about legislative change that occurred in Denmark earlier this year that absolves the Danish guarantee scheme from the need to settle claims.

“This is once again an example of a failure of regulations out of State having an impact on Irish consumers,” said Mr McGrath.

He added that the priority needs to be ensuring that claimants are paid, unlike in the case of Setanta, where some individuals are “still out of pocket”.