April 9, 2010

“Come on without, come on within,” opined inanely gurning nonsense-pop purveyors Manfred Mann agrammatically back in the day, “You’ll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn.” Setting aside its inherent pseudo-colloquial self-negation, the above-expressed sentiment appeared apt as news broke last week of dramatic developments at the colourful Irish insurance outfit of that name.

Since Provisional Administrators were appointed late last month to take over the management of Quinn Insurance Limited, the firm has been busy sending out anti-renewal letters to its policyholders in the UK and Northern Ireland: Is your policy due for renewal? No good talking to us then!

As thousands riot on the streets of future ghost-town Enniskillen in protest at the regulator’s wreckless emperilment of Quinn workers’ career development prospects, one of the firm’s major creditors appears to have concluded that Quinn is, in the currently popular phrase, too big to fail.

State-owned Anglo-Irish Bank reportedly wants to inject €700m and become Quinn’s major shareholder. Quinn family boss, Mighty Sean Quinn, however, has dismissed the proposal on the basis that “The Quinn Group has plenty of money. We are cash rich. We have money in the bank. We are not looking for any money off anybody, because the company is making lots of money.”

A handy Q&A section on Quinn’s website answers typical policyholder queries such as “What is a provisional administrator and what do they do?” “When do Quinn anticipate that they will start quoting in the UK market again?” and “I want to cancel my policy, I can’t take the risk?” (sic) The answer to that one incidentally is “There is no risk.”

Alarmingly for anyone foolish enough to give credence to the scurrilous untruths put about by Quinn’s envious competitors, the answer to the question “I have a claim outstanding with Quinn Insurance. Will it be paid?” is the ominously opaque “Claims will be handled in the usual manner.”


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