insurance risk


PHOTO: IAIN MCGREGOR/STUFF Private insurers paid out $22 billion in the aftermath of the Canterbury earthquakes. That and the $1b paid out after Kaikōura five years later has contributed to a rise in premiums and withdrawal of cover in some 

EDITORIAL: Not long after his first-term inauguration, former US president Barack Obama was asked about the kind of things he would see coming across his desk.

Obama recalled that most decisions involved picking the least worst option; by the time matters reached him, there was little else to choose from.

The issues surrounding this country’s insurance industry would have been right at home on that presidential timber: premiums rising to unprecedented levels, insurers refusing cover in places deemed too risky, and property owners turning their backs on the industry because of high costs.

The howls of outrage are rising too, prompting Wellington Mayor Justin Lester to seek a forum with the industry, the ripples from which will be felt beyond the capital to the coastal regions threatened by climate change, and centres such as Christchurch, still finding their feet after devastating earthquakes.


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