Wednesday 21 March 2018

Former RSA chief awarded record €1.25m in landmark employment case

Philip Smith and his wife Shirley
Philip Smith and his wife Shirley
Philip Smith
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

THE former head of country’s largest general insurer RSA has been awarded €1.25m by the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Philip Smith took a case for constructive dismissal to the tribunal.

The award is understood to be the highest ever made by the Employment Appeals Tribunal.

In November 2013 Mr Smith and two other senior managers were suspended for what RSA described as issues around claims and the level of reserves in the company here.

Read more: Former RSA Ireland CFO says 'afraid to blow whistle on under-reserving'

These related to how large loss claims were reserved. The overall reserving position of the company was found to be inadequate, the company said at the time.

The hole in the reserves of the Irish division forced its London-headquartered parent to bail it out, in a move that eventually cost close to €400m.

When the financial issues first emerged Mr Smith resigned and claimed that he had been made the “fall guy” by RSA’s problems.

RSA and other motor insurers are currently increasing premiums for drivers in a bid to boost their reserves.

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