Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson, Michael McGrath has said the clock is now ticking for the Government to ensure that Setanta claimants receive their full compensation in a timely manner.
“Today, the Supreme Court ruled that compensation owed to the 1,649 claimants must be paid by the Insurance Compensation Fund (ICF). This is a decision that has been long awaited by the claimants and their families since the company went bust over three years ago.
“However, this is not the end of the road unfortunately. The Government must now ensure that these claimants are compensated in full.
“The Liquidator has already indicated that he will only be able to cover 30% of Setanta’s current €95.2M liabilities, leaving the remainder to the Insurance Compensation Fund.
“This will leave many claimants highly anxious as the ICF crucially caps its compensation liability at 65%. For those who have suffered severe medical trauma, the ICF’s ceiling in terms of its awards of €825,000, will undoubtedly cause them severe worries.
“The Government needs to make moves now to ensure that this limit is lifted for Setanta claimants.
“This cannot be allowed to stay as is. Claimants must not be left to foot the bill. As I have said previously, the Government must ensure fairness is applied, and if this requires both policy and legislative change, then so be it.
“Immediately after the ruling was made in the Supreme Court, I raised this very issue with the Tánaiste in the Dáil. Unfortunately, she was unwilling or unable to provide a timeline for when legislation, necessary to deal with these issues, would be published by the Government.
“The upshot of today’s ruling, and the Government’s unpreparedness for this ruling, is that many claimants are none the wiser as to when their case will be dealt with, and what level of compensation they will receive.
“Equally disturbing is the fact that there is nothing to stop this from happening again. Since the collapse of Setanta, we have seen Enterprise Insurance, a Gibraltarian regulated company, fold.
“The Government must immediately implement the Insurance Framework that was agreed last year to deal with cases similar to Setanta in the future, and come forward with both policy and legislative changes that are desperately needed by those Setanta claimants who are still living in limbo event after this ruling,” concluded McGrath