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Kaikoura progress shows benefits of private model: ICNZ

More than 75% of residential property claims relating to the Kaikoura earthquake will be settled by the end of the year, showing private insurers handling claims is the best model, according to the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ).

“Insurers are acting as agents for the Earthquake Commission and are managing most of the building and contents claims,” CEO Tim Grafton said.

“We believe this is the model for the future because it has proven to deliver efficiencies for everyone by reducing double handling and speeding up settlements.”  

To date, private insurers have settled 69% of all residential and commercial claims from the quake on November 14 last year.

At the end of last month 91% of all residential assessments were complete, with 65% of building claims fully settled and 92% of home contents claims fully settled. 

Private insurers have been settling at a rate of about 10% per month.

The insurance bill for the Kaikoura quake is more than $NZ2 billion ($1.8 billion), with commercial claims accounting for $NZ1.47 billion ($1.32 billion) and residential nearly $NZ600 million ($541 million).

Private insurers have received more than 44,000 claims, 39,000 of which are for residential home and contents.

In commercial claims, 80% by number were fully or partially settled by the end of last month.

More than $NZ547 million ($493.97 million) of commercial claims have been partially or fully settled.

Mr Grafton says the Government is reviewing the Earthquake Commission Act and has an opportunity to ensure insurers assess and manage all claims in future.

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