1 Jun 2011

Insurance sector 'well placed' to handle risks

5:18 pm on 1 June 2011

Regulation and natural catastrophes continue to worry the global insurance industry, but the sector thinks it is well placed to handle the risks.

The survey asked 490 insurance industry representatives in 40 countries to list the greatest risks to their business.

The global report, conducted in association with PricewaterhouseCoopers, found the greatest risk facing the sector is the effect of regulation.

The 15 New Zealand respondents to the survey were also worried about the effect of regulatory reform, but the state of the economy took the number one spot as the biggest worry.

The fall-out from the Christchurch earthquake was listed as the third biggest risk.

The head of corporate affairs at AA Insurance, Suzanne Wolton, says the Canterbury earthquakes present unique challenges. She says there about 25 parties are involved in the complex rebuilding process.

None of the New Zealand respondents thought the industry was poorly prepared to handle risk, and 13% thought it was well prepared - well above the global average of 5%.

PricewaterhouseCoopers financial services partner David Lamb says insurers appear confident they will be able to handle the challenges posed by natural disasters.