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Taxi industry to float new insurance company

August 10, 2004

Taxi industry to float new insurance company

The Taxi Federation is offering shares to float a new vehicle insurance company in New Zealand.

The new company will initially insure taxis, but will also offer general motor insurance to the wider public, said Federation executive director, Tim Reddish.

It will concentrate primarily on commercial, rather than private vehicles, but will insure cars through to ‘anything else on wheels’.

To be called Silver Fern Insurance Limited, the company will be controlled by the Taxi Federation whose members are being encouraged to buy shares in the new entity.

The share offer opened at the end of July and will close on September 30. The $1.00 shares are being sold in parcels of 500.

If fully subscribed, the company will have an initial share capital of $2.5 million.

The lack of readily-available and cost-effective insurance cover for taxi operators is the main reason the Federation is establishing the new insurance company, Mr Reddish said.

“Insurance cover is definitely getting harder for taxi operators to obtain. Fewer and fewer companies are willing to take on taxis and premiums are getting too costly. Additionally, the number of underwriters in the market is decreasing.

“We also see a gap in the wider vehicle insurance market.

“Motor is the largest single class of insurance written in New Zealand and there certainly is room for another specialist insurer, not just for the taxi industry, but for all commercial vehicle types as well.”

Mr Reddish said Silver Fern will be the successor to Gold Star Insurance, which the taxi industry operated successfully for many years from the early 1960s until it was lost in a take-over battle.

The company will offer premium discounts to founding gold shareholders, insurance covers will be individually assessed for each risk and the company will remain outside the insurance industry’s knock for knock agreement.

Together with a hugely experienced board and management team, those factors will be instrumental in ensuring the company’s financial success, Mr Reddish said.


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