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3 Illinois insurers liquidated after 10-year process [Chicago Tribune]

By Becky Yerak, Chicago Tribune
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

May 13--A decade after they began to wind down operations, a group of three insurers doing business in Illinois is being liquidated.

Illinois Department of Insurance Director Andrew Boron said liquidation orders were entered Friday in Cook County Circuit Court against Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Co., American Manufacturers Mutual Insurance Co. and American Motorists Insurance Co.

"Liquidation was the next step in this process," Boron said in a statement. He said his staff "has worked diligently during this transition" to protect the interests of the companies' creditors and customers.

The court order will allow for the distribution of assets on claims arising in the liquidation proceedings of the three companies, he said.

Lumbermens is a mutual property and casualty insurer organized in 1912 and held licenses in 49 states and the District of Columbia. American Manufacturers is a mutual property and casualty insurer organized in 1837 and held licenses in 49 states and the District of Columbia. American Motorists also held licenses in 49 states and was organized in 1926. They were once part of the Kemper family of companies.

In 2002, after experiencing greater-than-expected losses, the companies and their investments were doing poorly due to global economic conditions. All three began a voluntary run-off in 2003 and have been operating under a run-off plan filed and approved by the insurance department in 2004.

After notices were sent to hundreds of thousands of interested parties, only one policyholder has filed a substantive objection, Boron said in court documents. The court rejected those objections, the department said.

Since the run-off began, the companies' combined liabilities have dropped from nearly $7 billion to less than $1 billion.

byerak@tribune.com -- Twitter: @beckyyerak

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(c)2013 the Chicago Tribune

Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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As of July 1st, 2014: a new strategy to avoid RMDs