Friday, September 16, 2011

More bad news for Canterbury and Christchurch - no new insurance available...

Gerry Brownlee at the Solray Algae to Biofuels...Image via Wikipedia

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has returned from meetings with insurance chiefs in Europe to report that premiums will go up and that for the meantime it will not be possible to get new insurance contracts in Canterbury.

That will severely limit the ability of Cantabrians to rebuild their region.

Speaking today on TV3's "The Nation" Mr Brownlee said overseas based reinsurance companies would not write new contracts for Canterbury until there was a more settled seismic situation.

"What we're talking about is new risk, new exposure and expansion of various insurers' books, "he said.
"Insurance companies in New Zealand are continuing to cover their clients, and in many parts of New Zealand they're still expanding their book effectively.

"In Christchurch they're sticking with their clients.

"So if you're going out of a red zone into a new house somewhere, or building a new house, then the insurance company will stick with you through that process.

"Where it gets a little difficult is the lack of willingness at the moment to expand the book to write new covers, particularly involving the earthquake in Christchurch.

"Now that will be a transitory period I think."

But Mr Brownlee said he could not say when that situation might change.

And he also said that his attendance at a major insurance conference in Monte Carlo had convinced him New Zealand insurance premiums would have to go up.

"The reinsurers are saying premiums not just in New Zealand but everywhere, have to go up because it's been such a bad 12 month," he said.

"New Zealand's been under-priced for a fair period of time, and we would expect to see some price rise. "

Just when will the Canterbury region get a fair go?
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