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NZers draw on record $1.13 billion in insurance payouts

New Zealanders draw on record $1.13 billion in insurance payouts

New Zealanders are being paid more than $1.13 billion a year in personal insurance claims, a new record.

Personal insurance claims (life, income protection and credit insurance) paid out have exceeded $1 billion for the fourth successive year according to the latest industry statistics.

Pay outs in the year ending March 31 ran at a rate of more than $21.8 million per week.

Claims are up more than $151.8 million compared with four years ago, according to

Peter Neilson, Chief Executive of the Financial Services Council which has today released the 31 March 2015 industry statistics.

In the year to the end of March 2015 the industry paid out $1,136,744,000 in claims up by
$151,812,000 on what was being paid out 4 years ago.

Mr Neilson says paid out claims over the past 4 years have grown by 15.4% - about 3 times faster than the 4.1% inflation over the same period.

In paying out this level of claims the industry is meeting its commitment to be there, paying valid claims when premature death or long term illness of policy holders challenges the financial security of their families.

Mr Neilson says the latest statistics posted today on the FSC website March 2015 Statistics also reveal an increasing trend for New Zealanders to hold income protection insurance. The cover helps maintain incomes when long term sickness strikes.

“There is increasing awareness that ACC covers accidents but not sickness unless caused by long term workplace exposures. The government’s sickness benefit is also family income tested.

Mr Neilson says thousands of New Zealand families find each year they don’t qualify when the main income earner falls ill and can’t work for a long period.

“They are very quickly falling on hard times after sick leave and savings run out. So it’s pleasing more are deciding to protect their wealth by taking up income protection cover, while huge numbers are benefiting from more than $1.13 billion being paid out annually for life, income and credit insurance claims.”

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