Silence Is Golden: Reinsurer Ordered To Pay Prejudgment Interest To Insurance Company’s Liquidator On Agreement Silent As To Interest

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A New Hampshire insurance company, Home Insurance Company (“Home”), was placed in liquidation in 2003. When its reinsurer Century Indemnity Company (“CIC”) tried to claim an $8 million setoff from amounts owed to Home, the liquidator balked and demanded the $8 million. A New Hampshire statute allows for the payment of prejudgment interest on an “action on a debt or account stated.” Finding no “meaningful distinction” between an “action on a debt” and the dispute at hand, the New Hampshire Supreme Court held that the statute applied and that the liquidator was entitled to prejudgment interest from the date CIC was informed the setoff would not be allowed. The court’s holding was also based on the fact that key agreements between CIC and Home were silent as to interest. Interpreting that contractual silence as to interest, the court declined to write into the contract a provision which made the interest statute inapplicable. In re Rehabilitation of The Home Insurance Company, No. 2012-623 (N.H. Feb. 13, 2014).


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