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Embattled Danish insurer Qudos suspends underwriting

Danish insurer Qudos Insurance A/S has stopped underwriting new business while it restructures, according to owner New Nordic Advisors.

New Nordic said it would continue to overhaul the insurer and aims to relaunch its live underwriting capability following a "comprehensive audit." The investor added that it was working with "leading legacy specialists" on Qudos' restructuring.

The news closely follows the publication of Qudos' results for the first half of the year on Oct. 4, which showed that the Danish insurer made a loss after tax of 32.4 million Danish kroner in the period, compared with a profit of 13.9 million kroner in the same period of 2017.

The results also show that the insurer has been paring back business to improve profitability; it has cut the number of binding authority agreements to just 7 from 31.

The company has also sought to transfer portfolios of old business to other carriers. Qudos said it had struck deals, awaiting regulatory approval, to transfer the liabilities of two of its larger insurance programs to "a legacy insurer." It added that negotiations for the transfer of several other parts of the business are ongoing.

Qudos said the first-half result is "not considered satisfactory," and it also expects to make a loss for the full year because the transformation process is not yet complete. But it added that it expected results to improve in 2019.

New Nordic is embroiled in a €46 million legal battle with Qudos' former owner, Canadian insurer Echelon Financial Holdings Inc. New Nordic has accused Echelon of obscuring the true financial condition of Qudos when it sold the Danish insurer in 2017.

Echelon has denied New Nordic's allegations and vowed to "vigorously defend" itself.