Liquidators of failed Queenstown boutique insurer Western
Pacific Insurance have yet to collect almost $1 million in
premiums from brokers and individual policyholders.
Western Pacific was placed in liquidation in April last year,
total claims at the time by policyholders and creditors
amounting to up to $65 million, but only about $34 million
was available in funds from global reinsurers.
Liquidators Grant Thornton have just released their latest
six-monthly report, to the end of October, which shows $48.3
million is owed to Canterbury earthquake claimants.
After the Canterbury earthquakes in September 2010 and
February 2011, Grant Thornton is looking to recover more than
$34 million from 24 reinsurers around the world, which will
allow payments to be made to Canterbury claimants.
Grant Thornton said "significant unremitted premiums" were
held by brokers, and the balance of debts still to be
collected stood at almost $942,000.
"Recovery action is ongoing in respect of the balance of
outstanding debtors, which includes using debt collection
agencies and taking actions as per broker agreements," the
The liquidators are working with the Canterbury Earthquake
Recovery Authority and the Earthquake Commission, having
obtained access to their respective records.
Aside from the Canterbury claimants, the other estimated
unsecured claims total $18.34 million, including other
insurance claims of $16.4 million and trade creditors' claims
of $1.1 million.
Grant Thornton said it was not yet possible to determine if
any dividend would be available to pay the ordinary unsecured
creditors but "it appears unlikely".
Similarly, for preferential creditors, such as staff who were
owed almost $118,000 and the IRD which was owed $87,559, it
was unknown yet "what distribution, if any" would be
available for them until the recovery of outstanding debts,
Grant Thornton said.
Western Pacific collapsed because of $6 million in estimated
claims from earthquake policyholders ($1.95 million) and
unsecured creditors ($3.88 million), but it was later
revealed it had 7000 policies worldwide and total liabilities
of up to $10 billion.
Western Pacific's directors were Queenstown-based Graham
Smolenski and his brother-in-law, Jeff McNally, of Victoria
Grant Thornton noted the liquidation was "unlikely" to be
completed in the next six months.