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nsurance policy and behaviour to be publicly scrutinised

Insurance policy and behaviour to be publicly scrutinised in world leading survey

Public participation will be vital to the effectiveness of New Zealand’s biggest survey to examine the response of the EQC and insurers to Christchurch earthquake claims, says New Zealand’s leading insurance academic.

Dr Michael Naylor, Senior Lecturer in Finance and Insurance at Massey University’s School of Economics and Finance, is in Christchurch today (Wednesday 2 December) to launch an extensive research project into the insurance industry’s response to the Canterbury earthquakes.

The research includes comprehensive questions designed to ascertain claimants’ experiences with all aspects of their EQC or insurer journey – good and bad.

“This will be the world’s most thorough research ever conducted into the insurance industry’s response to a major disaster,” Dr Naylor says. “The more people who participate in the survey, the more comprehensive and credible the results will be, and the more likely that the lessons learned will be turned into improved policies and service delivery by insurances in any future events of this scale.” It is vital that the people of Christchurch have their say on what the insurance industry should do or not do during the next New Zealand disaster and what lessons can be learnt.

Dr Naylor says it is especially important that people with good experiences of their insurer participate.

“Because of the emotion involved in the claim process, we think that the main risk to the credibility of our research will be a very high response rate from those who were unhappy with their insurer, and a low response rate from those who had a relatively neutral or even good experience. If we expect the insurance industry to take this research seriously we must get a balanced response, and that means hearing about the good as well as the bad.”

Dr Naylor says the researchers don’t want to hear just about what went wrong, as important as that is, but also about what went right. “That way, as well as hearing about the stuff the industry did badly, insurers can hear about what some companies did right, so that behavior can be maintained and replicated across the sector.”

The huge advantage of the research, Dr Naylor says, is its independence.

“Massey University is not aligned to the insurance industry and the industry is not paying to have the survey conducted. That means people can be sure that academic independence and thoroughness will be applied to the survey itself including analysis and reporting of results and conclusions. All responses are anonymous.”

To ensure as many people as possible hear about the survey there will be an extensive promotional campaign.

This will include region-wide advertising, a comprehensive letterbox drop, a social media page on Facebook, and direct contact with community organisations and businesses that can encourage their members and/or customers’ to participate.

A special focus will be reaching the elderly and low income families to give all socio-economic groups a chance to participate.

“This will be a widely read international report, which will influence insurer behaviour,” Dr Naylor says.

“As well as an invaluable resource of lessons learned for the industry, we are creating an online and a recorded archive of quake insurance experiences, which will allow Christchurch residents to detail their insurance experiences. The research report will be publically available and archived for future generations. It will also influence future government and the insurance industry decision making.”

The survey can be accessed here: www.quakesurvey.co.nz

Further information on the Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/Christchurch-Quake-survey-935746033139265/

ENDS

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