Christchurch firms rate insurers' performance poorly

7:59 am on 30 March 2012

A survey of Christchurch businesses by the largest commercial insurer in the city has uncovered discontent with the job it and other insurers are doing.

Vero commissioned the survey of 400 business owners to get a better idea of its customers' needs.

It found 55% of them rated the performance of insurers as poor or very poor.

The main gripes people had were poor communications, the insurers' lack of decision making and being too slow with payouts and repairs.

Vero says people are normally dissatisfied with the pace of settlements following major catastrophes and it is not surprised by the response.

The Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce says a major bug bear for its members is the cripplingly high excess charged on cover for future earthquake damage.

In in the case of a business worth $4 million, the new excess can be as high as $400,000.

Vero maintains the high excess levels are necessary to provide confidence to reinsurers.