Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow-Kilkenny John McGuinness is calling on the Government to intervene to help former clients of Setanta Insurance. The company went bust last week leaving 75,000 customers without cover, despite them having paid their premiums.
Deputy McGuinness said, “This collapse is extremely worrying for insurance customers and follows on from the RSA bailout last year and the administration of Quinn Insurance in 2010. Thousands of Setanta customers have been left without cover and will have to pay again to get their vans insured. It’s unacceptable that a company can come into Ireland, trade, and then leave without having to compensate their customers. The whole issue of regulation needs to be examined and overhauled.
“The current conditions have led to major problems within the insurance sector, with the consumer taking the hit. Customers have seen insurance levies added on to their premiums to pay for the mistakes of the past, and it’s about time the Government stopped this practice. It’s unfair that customers are always made to be the fall-guys, while the companies escape unscathed”, he added.
Councillor Joe Reidy, who’s running in the local elections, has expressed his concern about this latest collapse. “As an insurance broker myself, I have seen first-hand the impact that the liquidation of this company is having on its customers. Clients who had spent hundreds of euro on insurance cover have been left high and dry with absolutely no comeback. It’s a disgrace that the Government, which has stood over the implementation of a 5% insurance levy, is doing nothing to help the thousands of people affected by Setanta folding” Cllr Reidy commented.
“The remit of the Insurance Compensation Fund should be extended to include those people who paid their premiums in full, to see them compensated for their loss. The number of policy holders affected isn’t excessive and will reduce over the upcoming months as their cover comes up for renewal.
“Insurance costs are high enough, without having to pay on the double, as Setanta customers are being asked to do. It’s time the Government gave back to the people who have bailed out the banks and kept the insurance industry afloat. These levies were brought in to prop up the insurance industry and it would make sense to broaden the scope of the ICF in order to repay those who have lost out as a result of this latest collapse”, Cllr Reidy concluded.