Liquidator warns brokers' clients to hand over premiums due to Independent Insurance

Clients of brokers which refused to hand over premiums owed to failed insurer Independent, are now being told to pay up by liquidator PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).

PWC has advised brokers that it will contact policyholders directly.

In the letter seen by Insurance Times, Capita writes on behalf of PWC: "The records held by Independent Insurance Company Ltd (IICL) clearly show that there is an outstanding premium owing..."

It continues: "The responsibility for paying the premium rests with you under the terms of your contract with IICL, and we require payment of the settlement amount in discharge of this debt."

This follows on from PWC's attempt to retrieve premiums and commissions from brokers which refused to sign up to the original deal arranged by the liquidator in 2002.

PWC declined to comment on how many policyholders it would be contacting.

Dan Schwarzmann, a partner at PWC, said: "With regard to value and the number, we cannot say.

"Some brokers are beginning to hand over the money, but where they do not it will be down to the policyholder. It is a changing number."

But one broker warned that PWC could face a "public backlash" from policyholders "who see this as old news".

The broker said: "This is an understandably emotive subject. Policyholders will have to go back to their original policy to see what their rights are.

"Brokers will also want to know who PWC is writing to, and it has not been too forthcoming with that information."

Reynolds Porter Chamberlain partner Kenneth Underhill said: "If they [the policyholders] had the benefit of the policy then the policyholder needs to pay up."

Schwarzmann confirmed that more letters would be sent in coming weeks as it continues to claw back money owed to Independent's creditors.

' What do you think? Have you or your clients been affected by PWC's actions? Contact