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Quinn prices to soar 10pc

QUINN Insurance is set to hike its home and motor premiums by a massive 10pc after reporting massive losses of €800m.

One in five Irish motorists are insured by the group, which will significantly add to motoring costs at a time of already high fuel prices.

A Quinn spokesman blamed the health levy and the impact of flooding in late 2009 for impacting on the results of the company's Irish business.

But the majority of the company's losses stem from a one-off bill of €677m it was forced to pay when it went into administration last spring.

Total losses came to €788m, while the Quinn group still owes Anglo Irish Bank €3bn, mostly due to Sean Quinn's purchase of a stake of more than 20pc in the bank via contracts for difference, which allow a punt on a security without directly owning it. The administrators of its insurance business say challenging conditions in 2009 affected its profitability.

Its underwriting business had a loss of €127m last year, with two-thirds of this related to Quinn's UK operations.

Quinn Insurance was barred from writing business in the UK following the appointment of administrators. However, it has now been allowed to re-enter the motor market.