HIG's new owner promises seamless transition
Great Northwest assumed HIG's policies yesterday saying it had a long-term interest in the local market
The new owner of Hawaiian Insurance & Guaranty Co. Ltd. began assuming HIG's policy obligations yesterday, saying it has long-range plans for investment in Hawaii.
The entry into the Hawaii market by St. Paul, Minn.-based Great Northwest Insurance Co. is expected to end months of anxiety for HIG policyholders. State regulators took over HIG in June after its former Alabama-based parent company, Vesta Insurance Group, suffered financial problems.
Stephen Doucette, president and chief executive of Great Northwest and its new Hawaii unit, GNW Hawaii Insurance Ltd., said the company hopes to make the transition as seamless as possible.
"It is our intention to continue providing competitive rates and exceptional service," Doucette said. "Our interest in the local market is long term."
GNW Hawaii will change its name to Hawaiian Insurance and Guaranty Co. Ltd., a company press release said. All provisions of HIG policies, including premium terms, remain in full force and effect, the release said.
With the addition of Hawaii, Great Northwest and its affiliates operate in 17 states.
The state takeover of HIG came after rating agencies downgraded Vesta's bond rating to C+, a rating for extremely risky bonds that is considered too low to meet some mortgage lending requirements.
The downgrade prompted First Hawaiian Bank, American Savings Bank and Central Pacific Bank to tell HIG-insured mortgage borrowers to meet with their insurance agents to discuss the downgrade. Bank of Hawaii told HIG policyholders to find another insurer.