Setanta Insurance was placed into liquidation by the Malta Financial Services Authority on 30 April 2014. As it was a Maltese incorporated company, the liquidation is being carried out under Maltese law.
The Deputy will be aware that under the Insurance Act 1964, as amended, monies may be paid out of the Insurance Compensation Fund (ICF), with the approval of the High Court, in relation to an insolvent insurer, to meet claims up to a limit of 65% or €825,000 of the claim, whichever is the lesser.
The Deputy will also be aware of my decision in principle that the State will ensure that Setanta third party claimants are compensated in full, which was announced on 30 January. The Department of Finance has received confirmation from the Office of the Attorney General that there are no state-aid or other legal issues with this decision, and has therefore proceeded with the detailed arrangements to implement it. An additional provision to give effect to this decision is being included in the Insurance (Amendment) Bill, which is currently being finalised by my officials in liaison with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel and is expected to be published shortly. Once this is done the likely timeline for payment will become clearer, including the payment of the additional 35% to those who have settled their claims and have already received compensation of 65% of their claim subject to the limit outlined above.
I have also been informed by the Accountant of the Courts of Justice, that the High Court approved his application for payment out of the ICF on the 11 May 2018 in relation to some 403 claims to the value of c €7.6m. These payments will be paid within 15 working days from the date of the order and will be subject to the 65%/€825,000 limit.
It is however important to note that only claims which have been settled can be included in applications to the High Court for payment from the ICF. The process of settling claims is still ongoing and is subject in some cases to complex negotiations between all relevant parties. It is hoped that by the State taking steps to ensure that third party claimants are compensated in full, this will encourage the settlement of all outstanding claims as quickly as possible.