50% of drivers feel State should pay if insurer fails

Nearly 50% of respondents to a survey feel the Government should pay for any outstanding claims if a motor insurer goes to the wall. The study is by

It is published almost a year after the liquidation of Setanta Insurance and its parent left about 75,000 consumers uncovered for their motor insurance.

The survey found 46% believe the liability for such an event lies with the Government. However, the bulk of that opinion rests with male drivers; the main group (male van/ commercial vehicle drivers in particular) affected by Setanta’s collapse.

“One third of women feel the driver who was at fault in causing the claim should be forced to cover the cost, while men are more likely to believe that the cost should be covered by the State, or spread across all drivers,” said managing director Jonathan Hehir.

He also said the Setanta case could take years for payouts to happen. The question of who will foot the bill is set for the High Court.

“While it’s generally agreed that the insurance compensation fund, the liquidator and/or Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland will eventually cough up 90%+ of the costs, it is likely to take years before cheques are actually cut. Ordinary consumers, particularly the high number of self- employed individuals involved, simply cannot carry this cost, so we are calling on the minister to cover the relatively small shortfall that may arise,” he said.

“With the various Government agencies that could help, in legal wrangling with each other, it seems apparent that this unfortunate group will be left holding the baby for the foreseeable future unless the minister intervenes,” he added.

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