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Government must step up on insurance

Lianne Dalziel
Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson

12 January 2012

Government must step up on insurance

Labour’s Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Lianne Dalziel has asked for insurance issues to be placed on the agenda of the first Cross Party Forum this year.

Reacting to Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee’s statement today that the Government has no plans to help Ansvar Insurance customers caught short by their provider’s exit from the New Zealand market, Lianne Dalziel said: “I have been trying to help some of the Ansvar clients up to and in one case beyond the New Year’s Eve deadline.

“Most Christchurch Ansvar customers have been left with limited insurance cover that excludes earthquake cover (which means they still have EQC cover but no top up from their insurance). The people who went through a broker have been offered that deal by Ansvar Australia, but only until their current policy expires at any time in the next 12 months, for some as early as January.

“I believe that the Government should have done more to require Ansvar to make transitional arrangements for all clients, whether they were broker referred or direct clients,” Lianne Dalziel said.

“Ansvar offered a discount under the Super Gold Card, which again begs the question why the Government would not do more to ensure that cover was in place from 1 January 2012.

“The Government talks about moral hazard when it says there will be no immediate offer to uninsured residential property owners in the red zone,” Lianne Dalziel said.

“These are people who were fully insured and are now exposed. There are a small number who remain in this difficult situation and there was no reason why they couldn’t have been included with the AMI deal that was struck with AIG.

“For Mr Brownlee to say that this is different from the AMI situation, because that insurer covered such a large part of the market, is an inadequate explanation.”

Lianne Dalziel said she is also seeking a briefing on the AMI situation and the Western Pacific collapse, which has left a number of small businesses without any cover at all for the damage they suffered.

“Labour wants to work constructively with the government on these issues.”

ENDS

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