The liquidator of collapsed Queenstown-based boutique insurer
Western Pacific Insurance is using debt collection agencies
to recover ''significant'' unremitted premiums held by
insurance brokers, part of more than $750,000 in debts.
Two and a-half years after Western's collapse, liquidator
Grant Thornton is still predicting the liquidation is
''unlikely'' to be completed within the next six months. The
company collapsed in April 2011.
Grant Thornton was reliant on reinsurers' payouts to
reimburse Christchurch claimants and had recently ''submitted
a further claim to a panel of reinsurers'', Grant Thornton
said in its latest, statutory, six-monthly report on the
state of affairs.
Excluding an estimated $17.68 million which will not be
available in any form for unsecured creditors, Western policy
claims for Christchurch's two earthquakes amount to $48.32
million, but only $32.19 million is available from Western's
reinsurers - leaving a $16.13 million shortfall.
Western's failure leaves a total estimated shortfall of $33.8
million. Western once held 7000 policies across the world,
amounting to $10 billion in insurance cover, but collapsed
when just $6 million of claims were filed after
Christchurch's earthquakes, claims which at one point rose to
Western was operated by Queenstown-based Graham Smolenski and
his brother-in-law, Jeff McNally.
In mid-June, Grant Thornton received $1.93 million from an
unidentified reinsurer, which had been discounted by
There were ''significant unremitted premiums'' held by
insurance brokers, and during the past six months more than
$140,000 had been received from debtors, brokers and
Liquidators' costs for the two months to September 30,
including offices, legal fees and insurance, were $49,500,
and total more than $900,000 to date.