Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

ICNZ position on Wellington Mayoral Taskforce recommendation

The Wellington Mayoral Taskforce was set up in response to anecdotal claims that insurance premiums, particularly for commercial property including apartment dwellers, were unaffordable. Insurance premiums have risen sharply over the last two to three years as a result of a better understanding of the city’s seismic risks arising from the experience of the Canterbury and Kaikōura earthquakes as well as input from revised earthquake models that help inform insurers’ underwriting decisions. There has been some withdrawal of cover from the market and some insurers are close to the maximum exposure they seek to have in Wellington reflecting their appetite for risk. Although the unaffordability issue has been talked about for months, body corporates have yet to provide hard quantitative data of the numbers who cannot afford insurance. What we do know is that it will be a very, very small proportion of the New Zealand population.

The Taskforce has yet to finalise its recommendations, although a draft set of recommendations were discussed at a taskforce meeting yesterday. The recommendations cover ways to transfer, mitigate, accept and avoid risk. Several of the recommendations talk sensibly about updating hazard models, improving building performance and providing more transparent information about risks and hazards to property owners, which will help inform and make Wellington more resilient in the future.

"One recommendation to increase the EQC cap to $400,000 from the current $150,000 was put forward," said Tim Grafton, ICNZ Chief Executive. "ICNZ opposes this for several reasons. First, it would require the entire country to be levied to address a small, but as yet unquantified, affordability issue. This is quite disproportionate to the problem when direct Government or even local council assistance would be the most appropriate, targeted response. I am not aware that the council has identified who its vulnerable citizens are and assessed what assistance they need. Second, it would dramatically remove private insurance competition and the benefits that brings to all New Zealanders. Third, because the cap is paid for by a levy on all those who take out house insurance policies regardless of the risk, location or value of the residential property, it would mute the signal insurers are sending through risk-based pricing. This could create perverse outcomes such as poorer building quality, or converting commercial space to residential to benefit from the subsidisation provided by less risky regions. Fourth, it would be unfair because those in less risky areas would be pay more while those in higher risk areas would pay less. Fifth, it would add significantly to the Crown’s liability. All of this would happen with no evidence to support that there has been any material reduction in the uptake of insurance in New Zealand."

"The taskforce has met just three times and undertaken very limited deep or broad analysis. ICNZ and insurers have separately engaged with The Treasury to provide as much information as possible to inform decision-making and have discussed a wide range of options to address the as yet unquantified unaffordability issue."


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Coronavirus: On The Addiction To Chinese Student Fees, And A Possible Future For RNZ Concert

Last week, Australian PM Scott Morrison extended its ban on foreign visitors from or passing through from mainland China – including Chinese students - for a third week. New Zealand has dutifully followed suit, with our travel ban extending until next Monday at least, presumably dependent to some extent on what Morrison decides to do later this week.
Our universities are now asking for an exemption to the travel ban for their Chinese students, who would still, the universities assure us, be subjected to strict quarantine procedures upon arrival. Given how the inability of the university system to care for its own students on campus made world news last year, that promise may not do much to reduce the coronavirus fears among the wider New Zealand public. More>>


 

Water Woes: Wellington Reflects National Problem

Water utilities right across the country face major challenges to upgrade and maintain their underground three waters network. Water New Zealand’s Technical Manager, Noel Roberts says Wellington’s waste water woes are not unique to the capital city. ... More>>

ALSO:

2020 And Beyond: National’s Economic Plan

National Leader Simon Bridges has today outlined National’s economic plan heading into election 2020. “National understands the economy and how it impacts on New Zealanders day to day lives... More>>

ALSO:

Abortion Legislation Committee: Abortion Bill Report Presented To The House

The Abortion Legislation Committee has presented its report on the Abortion Legislation Bill to the House. A copy of the report is available here. The bill seeks to have abortion services provided like other health services... More>>

ALSO:


Local Government NZ: New Report A Pathfinder For Affordable Housing

A report released today by LGNZ provides a roadmap for councils finding their way through the complex policy, regulatory and market tools available to help enable more affordable housing developments for New Zealanders. With demand soaring, rents ... More>>

ALSO:

“Can Do Better”: Sallies Election Year Report Card

This year’s State of the Nation report by The Salvation Army offers a mixed bag of outcomes, with some significant headline progress - but also an ambitious list of “can do better”. Government action is delivering limited improvements... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels