What Happens if You are Affected by Setanta Insurance Collapse?

The Setanta Insurance Twitter page says …. “Our aim is to change insurance for good for the benefit of our broker partners and their customers.”

Well that hasn’t worked out too well for their 75,000 customers because this week Setanta have announced that on 16th April – it’s Board of Directors determined that the Company was insolvent. This means that the Company does not have sufficient funds to be able to honour its full obligations towards claimants, policyholders and other creditors.

Setanta Insurance operated through brokers in Ireland since 2007 –  but was based in Malta. They were not regulated by the Irish Central Bank – (maybe that is something people should check with brokers in future before they take out car insurance?)
Some people may not even be aware that they are insured with Setanta – especially if they just signed whatever their broker sent them. All customers of Setanta should have recieved a letter in January of this year about them ceasing to take on new business.

Problems with Setanta Insurance became obvious back in January when they announced thay had ceased carrying on the business of insurance, including the renewal of existing business with effect from close of business of 24th January 2014.

What can people do who have car insurance with Setanta Insurance?

The Central Bank of Ireland has issued a statement saying that Setanta Insurance is a Maltese incorporated company subject to prudential supervision in Malta by the Maltese Financial Services Authority (MFSA). Its financial position is not supervised by the Central Bank of Ireland and the Central Bank has no role in that regard. ”

The Central Bank also added that policyholders may “wish to consider their right to cancel their policy and seek alternative insurance coverage. It is therefore important that you review your position with regard to your insurance cover.”
Is your Car Insurance still Valid?

Setanta Insurance have said that…..  “all existing policies are still in force, but full payments of claims by the Company cannot be guaranteed. The Company may cancel your motor insurance policy, however cancellation notification as applicable in terms of the Central Bank of Ireland’s Consumer Protection Code 2012 provides for a two months‘ notice of cancellation during which period cover will remain in force.”

So – until a formal cancellation is sent – customers of Setanta are still legally insured and can still drive your vehicle on the road.

If I cancel my Policy will I get any refund?
Setanta say that they are “not in a position to guarantee pro rata return of premiums. ”

What about Claims?
Setanta cannot guarantee to payout on any claims  – but there is an Insurance Compensation Fund run by the Central Bank that could be used to help claimants. This  Fund is there to facilitate payments to policyholders  where an Irish authorised or an EU authorised non-life insurer goes into liquidation. (High Court approval has to be obtained for such payments.)

Maximum 65% Payout
The maximum  amount that may be paid out of the Insurance Compensation Fund is 65% of the sum due to the policyholder or €825,000 whichever is the less.  The fund cannot pay any sum due to a commercial policyholder –  unless the sum is due in respect of a liability to an individual.

Paid by Card? It may be possible for  Setanta Insurance customers who paid out a full 12 months premium with a debit or credit card – to get a refund via  “chargeback”  from the card provider. See our article about Debit and Credit Card Chargeback.  The chargeback can still be claimed when a company has ceased trading.

Check our latest article on Irish Car Insurance Prices here

 Contact Details for  Setanta Insurance Services Limited:

Suite 6, Plaza 255 , Blanchardstown Corporate Park , Ballycoolin , Dublin 15, Ireland

Phone: 0818 255 255 (if calling from outside RoI please dial +353 1 897 6300)

Email: support@setantainsurance.com

The Malta Financial Services Authority can be contacted on 00356 2548 5700