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NZI, Lumley, QBE rated tops in quake response survey

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Canterbury brokers surveyed on insurers’ response to the Christchurch earthquakes have ranked NZI, QBE and Lumley as the best-performing companies.

The Insurance Brokers Association of New Zealand (IBANZ) conducted the survey in July. The 52 respondents were asked to rate 10 major insurers’ performance.

When asked to rank insurers in their response to the earthquakes on a scale of one to 10, only NZI and QBE rated over 8, followed by Lumley and Chartis. Ace rated 6 followed by Allianz and Vero, Ansvar, Zurich and China Taiping.

IBANZ CEO Gary Young says the results are not surprising, based on what brokers have been telling him over the past few months.

He says a “huge number of lessons” are coming out of the Canterbury events.

NZI, QBE, Lumley and Vero rated highest when brokers were asked how well insurers have communicated with them. China Taiping and Allianz ranked lowest.

Asked to rate each insurer’s overall claims handling, brokers put Chartis at the top, followed in order by Ace, NZI, Lumley, QBE, China Taiping, Vero, Ansvar, Zurich and Allianz.

Brokers were also asked how reasonable insurers have been in requesting information to settle claims, given the difficulties clients have experienced with access. Chartis and NZI rated highest and Vero, Allianz and Ansvar lowest, although the gap is small. There is also limited difference in how brokers rated insurers on whether new underwriting requirements for renewals are reasonable in the circumstances, where QBE, China Taiping and Chartis rated top.

When brokers were asked whether insurers had been flexible in their interpretation or response on wordings when dealing with claims, Ace, China Taiping, Chartis, NZI and QBE came out top.

IBANZ says interim payments have been a key issue, with Chartis, NZI and QBE coming out on top and Allianz and Ansvar bottom.

China Taiping, NZI and Ace rated highest on the question of whether insurers are providing renewal terms in a reasonable timeframe, with Zurich and Chartis lowest.

When brokers were asked about their underwriting approach to new business following each major event, QBE came out well ahead, with the other insurers’ rankings fairly close.