Thursday 22 March 2018

Supreme Court grants leave for appeal into €90m Setanta Insurance case

Four Courts
Four Courts

Charlie Weston and Dearbhail McDonald

The Supreme Court will hear a case that is set to have major implications for motorists.

The move concerns some 1,700 claims, with a value of around €90m, that arose when Setanta Insurance collapsed in 2014. The Court of Appeal had ruled in March that the Motor Insurers' Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) should cover the cost of the claims.

The MIBI pays out in claims when a driver is involved an accident with an uninsured or unidentified driver.

Now the Supreme Court has granted leave to the MIBI to appeal the ruling made two months ago in the Court of Appeal that it must meet the cost of the claims.

Appeals to the Supreme Court are no longer automatic since the introduction of the Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court can now only hear appeals it considers to involve a matter of general public importance or in the interests of justice.

The Supreme Court rejects more than two out of every three leave-to-appeal applications, according to figures from the Courts Service.

The MIBI board took the decision to take the fight to the Supreme Court after consulting with its 40 members.

Insurers estimate the Court of Appeal's judgement could add a once-off premium of €50 to car insurance bills.

MIBI argues that the cost of these should be met by the Insurance Compensation Fund, set up to protect policyholders whose claims couldn't be met by their insurers in cases where the companies had become insolvent.

There is a limit on the amount of claims paid out by the Insurance Compensation Fund, but claims approved to be paid through the MIBA are paid in full.

Irish Independent

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business