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Insurance Council Supports Government Initiative


MEDIA RELEASE
8 June 2001


Insurance Council Supports Government Initiative


The Insurance Council has today come out in support of a scheme launched by the Justice Minister, Phil Goff. The scheme, which aims to make people’s homes safer against burglars is being run by the New Zealand Council of Victim Support groups, and has been funded through vote Justice.

Insurance Council Chief Executive, Chris Ryan, said the scheme reinforces what has been a strong drive by Mr Goff on the wider area of reducing crime in New Zealand. The insurers support the scheme, and particularly the education component of it which informs people on how they can make their houses safer and protect themselves against burglars. Burglary is one of the most common crimes in New Zealand, and two-thirds of all burglaries last year were of people’s homes.

Burglary, vandalism, and vehicle-related crime – committed against ordinary New Zealanders homes and cars resulted in insurance claims of nearly half a billion dollars since 1999.

New information released by the Insurance Council reveals insured New Zealanders have claimed nearly $20 million dollars a month over the past two years for burglary, vandalism and vehicle-related crime.

The Insurance Council figures come from the Insurance Claims Register, which is a database recording claims and why they were made.

The figures dramatically illustrate the impact criminals are having on people in their own homes.

"Crime and criminals are costing us hundreds of millions of dollars. New Zealanders must begin looking for solutions," said Chris Ryan Chief Executive of the Insurance Council.

"The figures released only show the effect of crime on those people who have insurance, therefore they are very conservative. The cost of crime is far greater."

"This is without even factoring in the emotional and social cost to people whose homes have been invaded", he said.

During the last two years crime against private homes and the personal property they contained resulted in claims of nearly $300,000,000. Burglary and theft accounted for the largest proportion of these claims.

Over the same period $163,000,000 of claims were made for stolen and vandalised private vehicles.

Insurance Council members protect over half a trillion dollars of New Zealanders assets, and last year paid out over a billion dollars in claims.

Insurance Council Chief Executive, Chris Ryan, says the current Government’s law and order initiatives are already making inroads into the criminal fraternity and insuring New Zealanders can feel an increased sense of security in their own homes.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:
Christopher Ryan, Chief Executive
Tel (04) 472 5230;

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