Staveley Head

Staveley Head

April 01, 2010 02:00 ET

Commercial Vehicle Insurance Company Placed In Administration

FLINT, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - April 1, 2010) - In a shock announcement it has been confirmed that Quinn Insurance has been placed in administration at the High Court in Dublin after the Financial Regulator expressed serious concerns about the finances of the company and the manner in which it was being run. The Court heard that the company had significant breaches in its solvency ratios.

Staveley Head, one of the UK's leading van insurance providers, was not totally surprised by the announcement.

Quinn Insurance also has an extensive operation in the UK trading as Quinn Insurance UK, and the Regulator has also ordered this facility to stop writing new business "to prevent Quinn Insurance Limited suffering further financial losses from its currently unprofitable UK business."

"Existing UK policyholders will not be affected by this decision as existing policies will remain valid. Customers can make claims in the normal way." The Regulator said.

Lawyers acting for the Regulator told the Court that guarantees had been made by subsidiaries of the company in 2005 with regard to the Group's assets which had reduced the assets of the company by 448 million euros. Some directors of Quinn Insurance were unaware of the guarantees, lawyers for the Regulator said. The company had declined from a position where it had a positive balance of 200 million euros assets in excess of liabilities, to its current situation where liabilities exceed assets by 200 million euros.

Sean Quinn, the founder of the company, started in business in 1973 opening a gravel pit on the family farm in Derrylin. He left the company following allegations of financial irregularities which were not considered to be compliant with the Financial Regulator's requirement.

A spokesman for Staveley Head said "We've known for some time that Quinn Insurance had issues which needed to be addressed, and time appears to have run out for them. It's sad to see the demise of another insurer following the departure from the market of HSBC Insurance last year and the take-over of Zenith by Markerstudy, but hopefully lessons will be learned and the medium to long term effects will be beneficial for all concerned."

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