State authorities, whose claims are delegated for management by the State Claims Agency, do not have conventional insurance cover in respect of the liabilities arising from these claims. Instead, they operate under State indemnity, a self-insurance model or ‘pay as you go’ system, whereby the State authority retains the costs of claims.
This approach is set out in the Public Financial Procedures (Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, 2019, C8, Section 11):
The general rule is that no insurance should be effected against the risk of any loss which, if it arose would fall wholly and directly on public funds. This is based on the understanding that the risks for which the Government is liable are innumerable and widely distributed, and that losses maturing in any one year are never so large as to materially disturb the financial position of the year, so that it is cheaper in the long term for the Exchequer to ‘carry its own insurance.’
State indemnity schemes
To be covered by these schemes, management of relevant claims against a State authority must be delegated to us by Government. State authorities for these purposes include the State itself, Government Ministers and Departments, the Defence Forces, An Garda Síochána, the Irish Prison Service, Tusla, other State agencies, community and comprehensive schools, the HSE, and the voluntary health and social care sector.
State Indemnity Frequently Asked Questions
Get answers to some common State indemnity questions.