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Doherty welcomes imminent resolution for Setanta claimants

5 October, 2018 - by Pearse Doherty TD


Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has welcomed confirmation from the Minister for Finance Pascal Donohoe in a parliamentary reply to him that for most of the people waiting the 100% compensation from Setanta insurance the end may be in sight. He said the Minister has singled a date of end October or early November. 

Deputy Doherty said:

“Within a matter of weeks, it is expected that those who have received 65% of their entitlement will receive the remainder. Approximately 1,500 will benefit by around €21m. Ongoing litigation cases will have to run their course however. 

“This issue goes back to the liquidation of Setanta which left thousands high and dry. A protracted legal dispute over who should pick up the tab ended when the Supreme Court ruled that the Insurance Compensation Fund was liable. This meant that under the rules only 65% could be paid out.

“I called for these rules to be changed so that people who had done nothing wrong would receive their fair compensation. The government eventually moved to bring forward the legislation to allow 100% payments after repeated calls from Sinn Féin and others which was passed recently.

“I am delighted that having first raised this issue in April 2014, the end is in sight for most impacted people. The final obstacle is the court process which I hope can be kept to the timetable outlined by the Minister to allow for this saga to be well closed by Christmas for the hundreds who have waited long enough.” ENDS

Note: Please see the PQ in question below

For Written Answer on : 04/10/2018
Question Number(s): 81 Question Reference(s): 40472/18
Department: Finance
Asked by: Pearse Doherty T.D.
______________________________________________

QUESTION

To ask the Minister for Finance the timeframe for those awaiting the 100% of their claims following the collapse of a company (details supplied) to receive their money; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Details Supplied) Setanta Insurance

REPLY

Setanta Insurance was placed into liquidation by the Malta Financial Services Authority on 30 April 2014. As it was a Maltese incorporated company, the liquidation is being carried out under Maltese law

The Deputy will be aware that the Insurance (Amendment) Act 2018 (Act 21 of 2018) was signed into law in July this year. The Act, inter alia, provides for the payment of 100% of the compensation due to Setanta third party personal injury motor insurance claimants including the additional 35% to those who have settled their claims and have already received compensation of 65% of their claim. The same principle of full payment will apply to third party property motor insurance claimants subject to a limit of €1.22 million (in line with Motor Insurers' Bureau of Ireland limits).

The Act also provides for revised arrangements for the ongoing management and administration of the Insurance Compensation Fund, including for applications to the High Court. These revised arrangements have now been put in place.

As the Courts have just re-commenced this week, no date has yet been fixed for the next tranche of payments.  However, I am informed by the State Claims Agency that much of the preparatory work has been completed. They have also advised this next tranche will comprise of new cases where 100% will be paid, all the cases where the balance of 35% is due, as well as a number of third party legal costs payments. In total it is expected that there will be in the region of 1,500 payments made with a value of approximately €21 million.

It should be noted that while I hope that a court date can be agreed by the end of October, it is possible that this may slip into the first half of November.   You can rest assured however that every effort is being made to process these payments as quickly as possible.

Finally, you should be aware that only claims which have been settled can be included in applications to the High Court for payment from the ICF. The Liquidator has advised that the process of settling claims is still ongoing and is subject in some cases to complex negotiations between all relevant parties.  Therefore for such cases it is not possible at this stage to give any indication when payment will be made. However, I believe that by the State having taken steps to ensure that third party claimants are compensated in full, that this will encourage the settlement of all outstanding claims as quickly as possible.

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