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A report into the collapse of HIH insurance

1. Introduction. On March 15 March 2001 Australia’s second largest insurer, HIH collapsed with debts in excess of A$5billion. This report intends to discuss some of HIH’s business objectives and creative accounting practices that may have attributed to the collapse of the company. 1.1 History. HIH began operating in Australia in 1968 under the name C.E. Heath plc, an English based insurance company whose Australian operations specialised in the underwriting of workers compensation. 1968 was also the year that Ray Williams (future CEO of HIH) and good friend Michael Payne set up MW Payne┬áLiability Agencies, a small insurance company based in Melbourne that offered workers compensation and public liability insurance (Main 2003). In 1974 the two companies merged and undertook…