The Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) has warned of a possible increase in insurance premiums should the ruling related to the liabilities of defunct insurer stands.

The MIBI said insurance premiums could rise by €50 if the decision of the High Court, which ruled last September that the MIBI was liable for claims left by Setanta Insurance, is upheld.

The High Court ruled that the Irish motor insurers were liable for the 1,750 claims left behind following the liquidation of Setanta.

Setanta was a member of the MIBI prior to its collapse.

Justice John Hedigan said in his September judgement that it was his interpretation of the 2009 MIBI Agreement that the organisation had a liability to pay out on claims for customers who had been insured by an insurer who had become insolvent.

MIBI chief executive Patrick O’Brien said that if the current High Court ruling stands, it will impact on the sector’s understanding of the role of the Insurance Compensation Fund.

“It will als mean a major shift for the MIBI beyond the purpose for which it was originally established. These are extremely serious considerations and are likely to require closer scrutiny by the industry and Government alike,” O’Brien said.

The Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) is a non-profit-making organisation registered in Ireland. The company was established in 1955 by Agreement between the Government and those companies underwriting motor insurance in Ireland. –