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Vero Challenges EQC Chairman’s Comments

Vero Challenges EQC Chairman’s Comments

New Zealand’s second largest insurer, Vero is challenging comments by EQC Chairman, Michael Wintringham in the EQC’s latest Annual Report.

In the Annual Report, the Chairman said: “In this environment, there is an incentive for insurers to reduce their own liabilities by shifting costs to the Crown or to other parties.”

Vero Chief Executive, Gary Dransfield said this comment was “speculative, unsubstantiated and damages the reputation of major insurance companies and their hard-working claims management staff”.

“It suggests insurers would act, or are acting improperly and in a manner not in the interests of New Zealand, its Government or the people of Canterbury,” Dransfield said.

“The reality is that the contribution of insurers to the Christchurch recovery has saved the Government billions of dollars.

“Around 80% of the expected $20 billion rebuild cost will be met by insurers and reinsurers.

“If that cost had to be met by the New Zealand Government alone there would be a massive rise in corporate and personal taxes to meet the bill.

“Private insurers have already paid out nearly $5 billion in claims,” Dransfield said.

Leaders of the major insurers, EQC, CERA and Government have a responsibility to be mutually supportive and focussed on the rebuilding of Christchurch.

“We need to instil confidence in the people of Canterbury and also overseas investors that we have the leadership and quality organisations capable of a unified, efficient and speedy recovery from the earthquakes,” Mr Dransfield said.

ENDS

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