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HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC INDUSTRIES, INC. RESPONDS TO LAWSUIT BY STATE INSURANCE COMMISSIONER

 HONOLULU, April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (NYSE: HE) said today that the state insurance commissioner intends to file a lawsuit against HEI to recover funds to rehabilitate its insolvent former property-casualty insurance subsidiary, Hawaiian Insurance Group (HIG). The amount sought by the lawsuit is presently unknown.
 "We believe that HEI will be vindicated," said Robert F. Clarke, HEI president and chief executive officer. "The lawsuit is an unfortunate waste of HIG assets that should be used to pay policyholder claims, not legal fees. We know that the state has been under a lot of pressure since Hurricane Iniki to deal with Hawaii's insurance crisis. This lawsuit, which might take several years to resolve, is not a surprise."
 HIG was placed under the control of the state insurance commissioner in December 1992 because policyholder claims filed after Hurricane Iniki struck the island of Kauai in September 1992 exceeded HIG assets.
 Representatives of HEI and the state had been discussing the development of a rehabilitation plan for about two months until shortly before the insurance commissioner's April 8 announcement of her intention to file a lawsuit.
 Hurricane Iniki caused about $2 billion in property damage, the third most costly storm in U.S. history.
 Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. is a diversified electric utility holding company delivering essential services to the people of Hawaii through its electric utility, savings bank, maritime freight transportation and residential real estate subsidiaries.
 -0- 4/12/93
 /CONTACT: Constance H. Lau, treasurer, 808-543-7384, or (fax) 808-543-7966; or Gary S. Sharpe, director-investor relations, 808-543-7385, both of Hawaiian Electric Industries/
 (HE)


CO: Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. ST: Hawaii IN: UTI SU:

SB -- NYON1 -- 4596 04/12/93 08:01 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 12, 1993
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