The liquidator of insolvent insurance company Setanta has made an advance application to the Insurance Compensation Fund. 

The application indicates the liquidator believes there will be a significant shortfall between the outstanding claims of Setanta customers and the assets the company. 

The exact amount of the shortfall has not yet been determined. 

The ICF is a fund into which all insurers pay to cover claims in the event of an insurance company going bust.

Malta-regulated Setanta collapsed last year, leaving thousands of policyholders who had lodged claims with the company unsure of how they would pay.

The company was set up in 2007 and built up a strong position in the Irish market by selling low-cost policies, at prices which ultimately brought the insurer to its knees.

The company was put in liquidation in April under the control of liquidator Paul Mercieca of Deloitte. 

It had around 75,000 policyholders when it went into liquidation. Two thirds of these were commercial motor insurance policies and one third was private policies.