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Catholic Church Insurance Rejects Relief, Downsizing

Australia’s Catholic Church Insurance (CCI) has announced it will begin to wind down operations after failing to secure additional financial support.

On Monday, CCI will notify shareholders and staff of the decision, which will result in the insurer closing new business.

Despite this decision, CCI remains solvent and intends to honor existing allegations, including those related to historic sexual abuse cases.

Church leadership assured victims that the gradual shutdown would not affect their claims. The CCI Board of Directors described the process as a voluntary “runoff vote.”

Impact on Catholic Diocese

The disappearance of the insurance company is expected to affect Catholic parishes across Australia. Nonetheless, officials stress that existing claims will continue to be funded.

Shareholders of Australian parish CCI were considering injecting additional capital into the insurer after previously providing $170 million to cover sexual abuse claims.

However, the CCI board said it could not secure the capital it needed to sustain its operations and meet regulatory requirements.

CCI will continue to be an Australian Prudential Regulator licensed insurer, but will no longer issue new or renewal policies.

The insurer has offered short-term renewals until June 30 for affected policyholders whose policies are expiring in the next few weeks.

CCI Chairman Joan Fitzpatrick reassured officials that insurers have sufficient assets to meet current commitments.

“The CCI Board and management deeply regret that it has been necessary to make such a decision and reassure all staff, policyholders and We want to guarantee our suppliers,” Fitzpatrick said.

Historical Sexual Abuse Allegations

CCI’s financial difficulties are believed to be primarily due to its numerous historical sexual abuse allegations. But the insurer also faces payments for climate-related issues affecting its customers.

Timothy Costello, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Assembly, and Peter Jones, President of Catholic Religious Australia, expressed their support for victims of abuse and reiterated their commitment to justice and compassion.

The two acknowledged the need for reparation and vowed to continue working towards healing and justice for the crimes and sins committed within the church.

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https://cathnews.co.nz/2023/06/01/catholic-church-insurance-refuses-bailout-winding-down/ Catholic Church Insurance Rejects Relief, Downsizing

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