Saturday 24 February 2018

Another day, another insurance fiasco bill to pay

The Central Bank here said it did not regulate Setanta
The Central Bank here said it did not regulate Setanta

The liquidation yesterday of Setanta Insurance is the third catastrophe to hit this industry in the very recent past, following quickly on the RSA bailout by its parent company at the end of last year and the placing of Quinn Insurance in administration in 2010. Although it did business exclusively in Ireland, the company's headquarters were in Malta, where it was regulated by the Malta Financial Service Authority.

This surely raises questions about the EU regulatory framework regarding this industry because ultimately it seems it will be the Irish taxpayer who, once again, will be left to pick up the tab through the insurance levy and increased premiums.

But of more pressing concern must be the 75,000 clients of the Irish company who found themselves without insurance yesterday. Although concerns for the future of this company first arose last January, and have been growing since, clients found themselves suddenly without insurance yesterday after an orderly wind-down of the company was no longer a viable option.

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