Monday 19 March 2018

Supreme Court case is set to have major implications for motorists

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 emerged when Setanta Insurance collapsed in 2014.

The Court of Appeal had ruled that the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) should cover the cost of the claims.

The MIBI is in place to pay out in claims when a driver is in an accident with an uninsured or unidentified driver.

In the last few hours the Supreme Court granted leave to the MIBI to appeal the ruling made in March in the Court of Appeal.

It has also been estimated that the Court of Appeal’s judgement could add a once-off premium of €50 to car insurance bills.

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, either from Court of Appeal decisions or directly from the High Court.

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

The MIBI took the decision to take the fight to the Supreme Court after receiving legal advice and consulting with its 40 members.

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

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