Insurers unfazed by latest big aftershock

Posted 27 May 2012 by MediaStuff Popular
Posted in Insurance , Rebuild , Media
This item was posted on the Stuff.co.nz website - click here to view the original

 

New Zealand insurers are confident Christchurch's latest shake will not impact on the rebuild.

Finance Minister Bill English told TV3's The Nation programme on Saturday it was possible that Friday's 5.2 magnitude quake could delay the rebuild of the city and affect the confidence of insurance companies.

"I mean there would be not a lot of physical damage from it, but a critical issue in Christchurch has been the confidence of the insurance companies," English said.

However, IAG, which owns NZI, AMI and State Insurance, said the shake did not alter its confidence in the Canterbury region, but did reinforce the need for a cautious approach.

An IAG spokesman said while Friday's quake was unsettling, it was of the scale that could be expected.

He said the quake did not alter the company's underwriting stance.

IAG started offering new insurance in Ashburton and Hurunui at the start of this year, but it was still not in a position to offer insurance to new customers in Christchurch, Selwyn and Waimakariri.

English told The Nation the latest earthquake was a reminder it wasn't just a matter of policy or process to get the rebuild going.

"There is the ongoing concern that there can be further earthquakes, and each one of them has some effect on confidence."

The Government was trying to work with the insurance companies.

"From the Government's point of view we just want to push on as far as we can," he said.

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