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Good news for compensation claimants in Setanta Insurance cases

On Friday last, the High Court confirmed that the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland is liable in respect of claims against the policyholders of the insolvent insurance company, Setanta. The Law Society presented the legal arguments against the MIBI in this case. The judgment means that the estimated 1700 outstanding claimants can now look to the MIBI to meet their claims.

In his decision in The Law Society v the MIBI, Mr Justice Hedigan held:

  1. The MIBI is liable to pay out in respect of claims against persons who are insured with Setanta at the time of their entry into liquidation in April 2004, and
  2. the High Court may not approve payments under section 3 of the Insurance Act 1964 (as inserted by Section 4 of the Insurance (Amendment) Act 2011) unless it appears that the MIBI is unlikely to meet the claim notwithstanding its obligation to do so.

This case was initiated by the Accountant of the Courts of Justice pursuant to Order 3, Rule 22 of the Rules of the Superior Courts for the purpose of determining these specific issues of law. The Law Society acting as legitimus contradictor presented the legal argument against MIBI.