Government must hold review on Insurance Industry’s failure
Government must hold review on Insurance Industry’s failure to payout Canterbury Businesses
Progressive Wigram MP Jim Anderton is calling on the government to hold an urgent review of the insurance industry in light of ongoing failures to pay out hard-hit Canterbury business owners.
“The government must hold international insurance underwriters accountable for refusing to pay out on legitimate business disruption claims caused by the Canterbury Earthquake”, says Anderton.
“It has become apparent that scores of small businesses, who thought they were adequately covered, have been lulled into a false sense of security by their insurance company. Perfectly reasonable claims are not being met, despite assurances from brokers after the event of the earthquake.
“It seems not even the brokers understand the full extent of what these policy claims purport to do. New Zealanders have to remember that it is not the insurance companies based here that are turning down legitimate claims, but International underwriters in London, Zurich and New York who are making these judgment calls.
“In the light of the earthquake being one of the most expensive natural disasters in the world for the insurance industry, it is vital that the global insurance industry looks at its practices and explains how these policies are meant to benefit its clientele in the future.
”If ever there was a time for reviewing the ‘business disruption’ insurance claims issue, it is now, but some in the industry are relying on confusing policy language and jargon to legally avoid making payouts.
“There is an obligation here. Thousands of business owners have in good faith been individually paying out tens of thousands of dollars for years to give themselves a sense of security for loss of income as a result of a disaster like an earthquake, only to find that underwriters in the insurance industry are now wriggling out of their responsibilities.
“I urge the government to urgently take up this review and make the international heads of the insurance industry focus on the Canterbury Earthquake as a case study to improve future practices”, says Jim Anderton.