April 2: Rags to rags, via riches

The lede:

The Irish government takes over Quinn Insurance, a major Irish health and p/c insurer, and part of the rags-to-riches empire of Sean Quinn. The problem wasn’t the €68 million (US$92 million) deficiency that PwC actuaries spied on a €200 million (US$270 million) surplus. It was the €1.2 billion guarantee (US$1.6 billion) QI made of other Quinn assets, whose net effect reduced assets by €448 million (US$600 million). (A life company was unaffected.) One U.S. report said the government would need €2,000 (US$2,700) for every person in Ireland to settle Quinn Insurance claims. You gotta hope that’s high; Obama’s $787 billion recovery act works out to about $2,500 for every person in the United States. Other coverage here, here, here and here.


  1. April 1 reinsurance renewals: The soft market continues.
  2. In Warren We Trust.
  3. PERILS is trying to be the PCS of Europe. Loss estimate from Xynthia is a work in progress.
  4. The history of the law of large numbers, as told by an insurance executive.
  5. Math majors: If you don’t stick to your knitting, there’s always crochet.

One thought on “April 2: Rags to rags, via riches

  1. […] Liberty Mutual pursuing Quinn You’ll recall Quinn is the property-casualty arm of the rags-to-riches Irish industrialist Sean Quinn that regulators took over when it learned the insurer had guaranteed €1.2 billion in debts elsewhere in the conglomerate. [The guarantees meant those assets couldn't support insurance liabilities at the same time.] The company apparently undercharged in some lines, and had a nontrivial deficiency. Background, including more links, here. […]

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