Five years on from the collapse of Setanta Insurance, 411 people are still awaiting the settlement of personal injury claims made to the insurer. 

So far 670 personal injury claims have been settled in full, with the most recent tranche of payments made in late November. 

Since then, it is understood that a further 125 claims have been agreed and will be paid out in the next submission to the Insurance Compensation Fund (ICF). 

According to data provided by the Department of Finance to Fianna Fáil's finance spokesman, Michael McGrath, the total value of the next tranche of payments will be approximately €7m.

However, this group must first be presented to the High Court and no date has yet been fixed for this hearing.

The department told Mr McGrath that preparatory work for that hearing will begin soon at the State Claims Agency and that it is hoped a court date for March can be set.

This would see the payments issued in late March or early April.

The process for settling claims is still ongoing and in some cases is subject to court proceedings.

The liquidator of Maltese-registered Setanta estimates the bulk of the outstanding claims will be settled by the end of this year. 

The company had around 75,000 Irish customers when it collapsed in 2014.

Meanwhile, in a separate response to a question from Mr McGrath, the Department of Finance has confirmed Danish insurer Alpha had 1,617 latent defects policies in effect here when it collapsed last year. 

Latent defects insurance covers defects in the design and construction of new properties. 

1,163 of the Alpha policies are currently with homeowners following completion of a property, while 454 are with the developer as construction had not finished. 

According to the department, CRL, a representative of claims handler BCL, has written to the developers concerned to warn them that their policies were no longer in effect from last August. 

It also requested details of the owners of the properties under the policies. 

BCR later wrote to all homeowners impacted by the Alpha liquidation to advise them their policies had been terminated and to suggest they consider replacing them.

"The lack of latent defect or structural warranty insurance arising from the collapse of Alpha Insurance is a major concern for those affected," said Mr McGrath.

"This threatens to leave impacted homeowners completely exposed if serious structural issues with their house emerge."

"In addition, the lack of such cover can restrict homeowners in selling their house. This issue therefore has the potential to be very disruptive for many homeowners."

"It is unclear at this point how many of these homeowners have received alternative cover."