The full text of Ansvar's November 24 media release
Ansvar Insurance Limited (New Zealand) today announced that it is to cease providing insurance cover in New Zealand and will undertake a managed exit from the market.
This is a result of the prohibitive cost of reinsurance following the devastating series of earthquakes in Canterbury in 2010 and 2011.
In September, Ansvar Insurance Limited (New Zealand) announced that it would cease writing earthquake cover in New Zealand.
Customers will be notified that existing policies from Ansvar Insurance Limited (New Zealand) will be cancelled on 31 December 2011 unless other options are confirmed.
All customers will be provided with an opportunity to take up temporary cover, excluding earthquake (natural disasters) cover, from Ansvar Australia. This will also be effective from 31 December. This is intended as an interim measure to provide customers with sufficient time to find alternative insurance. The expiry date of the temporary cover will be the same expiry date in customers’ current Ansvar New Zealand policies.
In addition, Ansvar Insurance Limited (New Zealand) is in discussions with other parties to transfer the policies of most of Ansvar Insurance Limited (New Zealand)’s domestic customers. If successfully completed, those customers’ policies can continue – without cancellation – and they will have an option for on-going cover.
This option may, unfortunately, not be available to the small number of customers living in the Red Zone in Greater Christchurch or with particular policy types who are not covered. These customers will have the option to take up temporary cover through Ansvar Australia as described above.
Any transfer proposal will be subject to Reserve Bank approval. Ansvar Insurance Limited (New Zealand) will provide updates on this situation as soon as possible.
The total cost of claims for Ansvar Insurance Limited (New Zealand) in relation to the Canterbury earthquakes remains unknown. Due to the complexity of events it will take some considerable time for the final level to be established.
Ansvar Chief Executive Andrew Moon said:
“We greatly regret having to make this decision. We are very aware that this will be stressful news for our customers – in particular those in Canterbury.
“Our primary focus will be to help our customers through these unprecedented times so they can move forward with their families and communities.
“We will continue to work closely with them to recover from these earthquakes, to manage their claims, and to find alternative insurance options.”
For media enquiries, please call:
John Walsh – 0275 660 776
Note to editors
Ansvar Insurance Limited (New Zealand) is a subsidiary of Ansvar Insurance Limited (Australia). It specialises in insurance offerings to the Faith, Not-For-Profit, Care, Education and Heritage sectors.
Ansvar Insurance Limited (New Zealand) has:
- Around 2,100 commercial customers in New Zealand (with 2,800 policies)
- Around 8,900 domestic customers in New Zealand (with around 17,700 policies )
- In Christchurch it has around 230 commercial customers (around 320 policies)
- In Christchurch it has around 1,275 domestic customers (around 1,670 policies).