Fund does not give preferential treatment to Irish policyholders

Quinn’s administrators will tap into the Insurance Compensation Fund in Ireland if reserves dry up, a letter seen by Insurance Times reveals.

In the letter to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), lawyers acting for the administrators say that the fund does not give preferential treatment to Irish policyholders.

Lawyers McCann Fitzgerald said in the letter: “The JPAs [joint provisional administrators] are entitled to apply to the High Court for access to the fund for such amounts required to carry on the business of the insurer and to perform their other functions … in relation to the insurer.”

The administrators are now advising the Irish financial regulator whether Quinn should be allowed back into the UK to write new business. An announcement is imminent.

If Quinn gets the nod, its underwriting capability is likely to be heavily restricted.

The administrators have also written to parties keen on acquiring either all or part of the Quinn business. A formal memorandum, giving detailed information on the parts of the business that are potentially up for sale, will be circulated in the next four to six weeks.

In a separate development, Quinn Group revealed that its reinsurance operation, Quinn Reinsurance, is not in administration. The entire group was founded by chairman Sean Quinn, pictured right.

According to Quinn Insurance’s last filed accounts, Quinn Insurance paid €80.3m (£70.3m) reinsurance premiums to Quinn Reinsurance in 2008. Around another €44m was paid to the London market.

A spokesman for the group said: “­Quinn Reinsurance, owned by Quinn Insurance’s parent company, provided certain aspects of QIL’s reinsurance.

“Since 2009, Quinn Insurance has sourced all of its reinsurance needs from third-party reinsurers in the London market. Quinn Reinsurance has not provided any reinsurance cover to Quinn Insurance.”