Saturday 27 December 2014

Quinn Insurance administrators seek court approval to transfer 5000 policies

Published 22/08/2014 | 13:59

The joint administrators of Quinn Insurance Limited want the High Court to approve the transfer of 5000 health policies to a subsidiary of one of the world's biggest insurance providers Swiss Re.

The polices, which provide payments to holders in the event they become sick, are all held by people living in Ireland. The proposed transfer is part of the orderly unwind of QIL's business.

The company, established by former billionaire businessman Sean Quinn was put into administration following an application by the Financial Regulator more than four years ago over serious concerns how the group was being run. 

The joint administrators of the company, Paul McCann and Michael McAteer, have petitioned the court to sanction the transfer of the 5000 policies to Luxembourg based insurance entity 'iptiQ', which has a branch in Ireland.  

The company is part of the Swiss Re group which is a leading global provider of insurance. It employs more than 11,500 people and had a group net income of USD$4.44billion in 2013.

On Friday High Court President Nicholas Kearns was informed the joint administrators have agreed a deal,  subject to the approval from the court, for the transfer of the policies.

As part of the proposal 'iptiQ' will accept all liabilities arising under the polices for a cash consideration from QIL which reflects the value of those liabilities.  It is also proposed that iptiQ will also become the controller of the policyholder's data.

In response to questions from the Judge barrister James Doherty Bl for the joint administrators said that it is hoped the proposed transfer "will be as smooth a transition as possible," and that the proposed transfer will not effect the policies.

Yesterday Mr Justice Kearns made a number of preliminary directions including one allowing the joint administrators to advertise the proposed scheme of transfer.  The full hearing of the joint administrator's application will come before the High Court in early October.

in 2007 QIL acquired part of the Irish health insurance business operated by BUPA. Quinn Insurance was placed in administration in March 2010, and Mr McAteer and Mr McCann were appointed as joint administrators.

In 2011 the Quinn Healthcare business was sold by way of a management led buy out. The company was renamed Laya Healthcare. As part of that deal Elips, a wholly owned subsidiary of Swiss Re, became the underwriter of Laya's polices.

Also in 2011 QIL's general insurance, excluding healthcare, business was sold following a successful joint bid by the Liberty International group and the Anglo Irish Bank group.

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