Texas Moves to Liquidate Non-Standard Auto Insurer, Access

By | March 19, 2018

Texas insurance regulators placed into receivership and started the process of liquidating a Texas-domiciled/Atlanta, Georgia-headquartered property/casualty insurance company that the insurance department says is insolvent.

Access Insurance Co. is primarily a provider of non-standard auto insurance and is licensed in 22 states, including the four states in the South Central region — Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.

In its order of impairment dated March 14, 2018, without going into detail the Texas Department of Insurance said Access is an impaired insurer and that the company’s liabilities are greater than its assets. Under the March 13 liquidation order issued in a Travis County court, all policies not previously expired will be terminated as of April 12. Covered claims on all Texas policies will be paid by the Texas Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association.

Access was founded in 1994 and distributed its policies through independent agents. According to the company, Access is the fifth largest writer of non-standard auto business in California.

In early March, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones ordered Access Insurance Co., to immediately stop transacting and soliciting insurance business that state.

The California Department of Insurance said the action followed Access’s Statutory Income Statement 2017 Preliminary (unaudited), which showed its policyholder surplus was negative $27.6 million as of Dec. 31, 2017, and its Statutory Income statement 2018 Preliminary (unaudited) report noted its policyholder surplus was a negative $29 million as of Jan. 31, 2018, and after the company also failed to file its required yearly statutory statement.

In a separate, July 2017 order, California alleged Access and some of its affiliates had engaged in improper claims handling, and improper rating and underwriting practices in violation of the California Insurance Code and the Fair Claims Settlement Regulations. These actions are still pending.

South Carolina Department of Insurance Director Ray Farmer said in an announcement released by his office that the South Carolina Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association will work to cover valid claims filed by insureds in his state. He said Access had around 15,500 South Carolina private passenger automobile insurance policies in force.

The liquidation order stays all other lawsuits against Access. Cantilo & Bennett L.L.P. of Austin, Texas, which has been appointed by Texas Insurance Commissioner Kent Sullivan as the special deputy receiver, will manage the liquidation process.

A statement agreeing to the liquidation order was signed by Patrick McMenamin, identified as president of Access Holdco LLC.

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