30 Sep 2011

Another insurance company pulls out of quake cover

8:51 pm on 30 September 2011

Another insurance company has made major changes to its earthquake cover as a result of the Canterbury quakes.

Zurich New Zealand says it will no longer insure new clients in the South Island and most of the North Island against earthquakes.

Zurich says it has yet to decide whether it will renew existing customers' quake cover when their policies expire.

It says the company's ability to pay is not behind the decision.

On Thursday Ansvar New Zealand, which insures the majority of churches in the country, said it would no longer provide any earthquake cover.

The company is facing $700 million of claims from recent quakes in Canterbury and is pulling out of quake cover for all its approximately 14,000 customers.

As well as insuring most churches, it covers care facilities, schools and not-for-profit organisations.

Ansvar chief executive in New Zealand and Australia, Andrew Moon, told Morning Report the British parent company is pulling out all stops to try a different approach so they can provide earthquake cover again.

Mr Moon says even if they do succeed, premiums will just keep rising.