Westpac, insurer to offer new construction policies

5:27 pm on 10 September 2012

Westpac says it is joining forces with Lumley Insurance to become the first major financial institution to offer insurance policies for new Canterbury construction projects.

The bank says it has broken Christchurch's insurance deadlock with the announcement that it will offer policies for new construction and full replacement home and contents policies.

Westpac and Lumley Insurance have secured backing from a major European reinsurer that provides enough cover to enable about 500 homes to be built.

Westpac's private, wealth and insurance managing director Simon Power said on Monday hundreds of people who have been unable to get insurance for new homes after the recent quakes will now be able to get on with their lives.

"One of the things that drove us to this point was the constant feedback we were getting from our customers about how difficult things were for them as they were trying to move to Christchurch, trying to build new - this was a stumbling block."

Mr Power says the insurance cover comes as part of a package with a home loan and transaction account and hopes other insurers will follow suit and open up the market.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says being able to get new cover will boost the rebuild.