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Claimant storms stage at NZ awards event

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The annual New Zealand insurance industry awards night in Auckland last week was briefly hijacked by an aggrieved claimant.

Jerry Larason, a Christchurch resident who has still not settled his claim from the 2011 earthquakes with Vero New Zealand, donned black tie, armed himself with a megaphone and made his way into the function with guests.

However, his protest was stymied because Vero won no awards. When he finally attempted to make his protest, he was stopped and escorted out.

Mr Larason, who has previously protested outside Vero NZ offices wearing a prison costume, received prime-time attention on New Zealand TV news for his ambush attempt.

However, the following day he was invited to meet Vero executives, who say it is Mr Larason who is delaying the payment by refusing to settle.

Winners of the New Zealand Insurance Awards, which were organised by the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF), are:

  • Service provider to the industry of the year: Smith & Smith
  • Professional services firm: Cunningham Lindsey
  • Women’s employer, sponsored by Fidelity Life: ANZ (including OnePath Life)
  • Young insurance professionals’ employer: Gallagher Bassett
  • Insurance learning program of the year: Rothbury Insurance Brokers
  • Innovation of the year: NZI for implementing the Guardian system into its fleet
  • Small-medium broking company of the year: Frank Risk Management
  • Large broking company, sponsored by NZI: Rothbury
  • Life insurance company: Fidelity Life
  • Underwriting agency: Delta Insurance
  • Intermediated insurance company: NZI
  • Direct general insurance company, sponsored by JB Hi-Fi: FMG
  • Young insurance professional: Tony Seto, Willis Towers Watson
  • Broking professional, sponsored by Vero NZ: Kim Matthews, Rothbury
  • Insurance leader, sponsored by DLA Piper New Zealand: Peter Harris, CBL Corporation
  • ANZIIF lifetime achievement awards, sponsored by Asteron Life: Max Marsh from Crombie Lockwood and Karl Armstrong from IAG.

ANZIIF CEO Prue Willsford says the awards are an opportunity to celebrate the industry, its people and their achievements.