Mid-Atlantic taxi, commercial vehicle insurer to be liquidated


First Keystone Risk Retention Group Inc., an insurer of taxi and other commercial vehicle coverage in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia, has been ruled insolvent and will be liquidated by the South Carolina Department of Insurance.

According to regulatory officials, 80% of First Keystone’s business was in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with 20% in Virginia and Maryland.

Philadelphia-based First Keystone was also licensed to do business in Delaware, North Carolina, Georgia and Massachusetts.

The liquidation order was signed on Oct. 21 by Judge L. Casey Manning of the Fifth Judicial Circuit Court in Richland County, S.C.

According to a report quoting a special liquidator appointed by the South Carolina Department of Insurance, First Keystone began writing minimum limits in 2011, but its book of business prior to 2010 was problematic.

First Keystone reportedly had $7 million in annual premium in 2013, with about 800 open claims.

Claims will be accepted until February 2015.

The Philadelphia Parking Authority reported that out of the 1,600 taxis operating in the city, 466 had to secure coverage through a new insurer or stop doing business.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission also informed 66 cab companies they had to secure replacement coverage or stop doing businesses. The order applies to six companies doing business in Harrisburg.

First Keystone was granted a license by South Carolina in September 2003 on the condition it maintain $2.4 million in capital and surplus.

First Keystone’s total capital and surplus is now estimated to be roughly negative $3 million, officials said.

A recent review of First Keystone’s financial status found the company had $195,645 in adjusted capital and surplus, well below the $2.4 million required by South Carolina.

The company’s officers and directors denied wrongdoing and did not fight the liquidation order.

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