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HERBERT NEFF ET AL. v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (04/30/79)

decided: April 30, 1979.

HERBERT NEFF ET AL., PETITIONERS
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, INSURANCE DEPARTMENT, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Insurance Commissioner in case of In Re: Herbert Neff and Lawrence Neff, on behalf of Gibralter Life Insurance Company v. Insurance Department, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Docket No. C77-12-6.

COUNSEL

Malcolm H. Waldron, Jr., for petitioner.

Joseph Kenneth Hegedus, Deputy Attorney General, with him Norman J. Watkins, Deputy Attorney General, Chief, Civil Litigation, and Edward G. Biester, Jr., Attorney General, for respondent.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Rogers and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 334]

Herbert Neff and Lawrence Neff, on behalf of Gibraltar Life Insurance Company, have appealed from an order of the Insurance Commissioner refusing their application that an order suspending Gibraltar's business be lifted. We affirm.

Gibraltar is a domestic stock limited life insurance company which the Commissioner suspended from the transaction of business on October 15, 1973, while its stock was owned by persons other than the present owners, the Neffs. On November 16, 1974, the Neffs submitted a letter*fn1 to the Insurance Commissioner which sought approval for their acquisition of Gibraltar's capital stock pursuant to Section 337.6 of the Act, 40 P.S. ยง 459.6, which provides, in pertinent part:

(c) There shall be filed with the Insurance Commissioner a statement, signed by the person proposing to make the acquisition, and verified

[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 335]

    by oath or affirmation, which shall contain the information specified in this subsection. . . .

(5) Such plans, arrangements, understandings and intentions as such person may have for the future business and management of the issuer whose capital stock is to be acquired. . . . (Emphasis added.)

The plans, arrangements, understandings and intentions which the Neffs described in their acquisition statement included Gibraltar's proposal to reinsure and assume the existing policies of another limited life insurance company also controlled by the Neffs, Old Heritage Mutual Insurance Company, and the eventual dissolution of Old Heritage. The Commissioner responded to Gibraltar's acquisition statement by letter dated November 26, 1974, approving the acquisition as proposed. This response, as Gibraltar's statement, was principally concerned with the plan by which Gibraltar would reinsure and assume Old Heritage's existing policies. The principal feature of Gibraltar's proposal and the matter in which the Commissioner was principally interested in approving it was the planned rehabilitation of Old Heritage for the benefit of its policyholders.

The Neffs acquired Gibraltar's outstanding capital stock in January, 1975. There is no clear evidence in the record that the Neffs took any further steps to effect a reinsurance and assumption agreement with Old Heritage until June 1, 1976.*fn2 On that ...


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