Tuesday 21 November 2017

Hangover from big ICI debacle still playing out 25 years later

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

CLAIMS against an insurer that collapsed in 1985 are still being met by a company established to wind down the business, two-and-a-half decades later.

Accounts just filed with the Companies Office show Icarom, which manages insurance claims from the failed Insurance Corporation of Ireland (ICI), saw its deficit fall to €271,000 last year.

The deficit would have been far greater, at €2.2m, but the company generated income of €1.8m from cash it has on deposit to cope with claims.

The company has €80m in cash invested and is in line for a further €22.3m payment from AIB in 2011 and 2012, the accounts show.

AIB owned ICI until the insurance business collapsed in 1985 with debts of €400m.

In its wake, Icarom was set up under administrator Donal O'Connor.

The company was charged with working out outstanding and future insurance claims and managing any remaining assets the business had. AIB has been obliged to pay into Icarom every year since then.

Many of the claims Icarom handles relate to asbestos and other pollution issues and can take years to run their course.

The company is in run-off and does not accept new insurance business. Icarom's staff of three were paid €216,000 between them last year.

The administrator, who is a retired partner at accountancy firm PWC, was paid another €229,000, which includes the cost of using some PWC staff.

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