Insurer AmTrust abandons Irish plans

This is reported to be due to concerns over contributions to a €95m settlement after the collapse of Setanta

Global insurer AmTrust has scrapped plans to enter the Irish market, this will allow the company to avoid paying part of a €95m bill to settle claims relating to Setanta Insurance.

The Irish Times has learned that the firm has left the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI), a body which was established to meet the cost of claims connected to uninsured drivers and unidentified vehicles.

It joined in 2015 and is reported to have resigned its membership without having provided any insurance policies.

The newspaper reports that the decision is due to concerns over its contribution to the MIBI's contribution to settling 1,700 claims connected to the liquidation of Setanta.

The High Court's ruling, which was later upheld by the Court of Appeal, means that the MIBO must meet costs arising from Setanta's financial difficulties. The Malta-registered firm had 75,000 policyholders in Ireland.

MIBI has argued that this cost should have been covered by the Insurance Compensation Fund - its function is to facilitate payments to policy holders when insurers enter liquidation or administration.