New owner for Quinn health insurer

Irish Life & Permanent is set to buy the health insurance business of Quinn Insurance partially made up of the former Irish Bupa business.

American insurer Liberty Mutual is buying the other Irish parts of Quinn Insurance, and putting into run off all UK business.

Liberty and Anglo Irish Bank, that has taken over all the assets of the Quinn family, have formed an Irish insurance joint venture. Irish Life & Permanent is set to split the banking and insurance arms into two separate organizations.

A transfer of Quinn’s health insurance operation to IL&P could be part of a major shake-up in the health insurance market. VHI is due to restructured and possibly split up, with the more universal health provision side retained. Aviva, the other player in the health insurance market, is the majority shareholder in Aviva Health. The minority stake in this venture is owned by AIB, a shareholding that is unlikely to survive the bank’s restructuring process. This could pave the way for Aviva to acquire AIB’s stake and either IL&P or Aviva to buy part of the VHI book. This would reduce the number of service providers in the sector down to just two.

The direction of the health insurance market looks set to change as the new minister for health pushes towards universal health cover for everyone.

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