Woods ‘perplexed’ at insurer’s change of tune

Thomas Coughlan, Newsroom

MARCH 14, 2019

EQC minister Megan Woods wants answers from the Insurance Council of New Zealand on why New Zealand’s largest insurer appears to be reducing its contents cover in Wellington, apparently contradicting a submission to Parliament made by the ICNZ last year.

ICNZ submitted on the EQC Act, which took contents cover out of EQC and left it to the private insurance market. 

Under the previous regime, EQC covered contents cover up to $20,000. As of July this year, EQC will no longer provide contents coverage but will increase the minimum level of coverage it provides to homes by $50,000 to $150,000. 

The submission from ICNZ said it supported the removal of contents cover, adding "the private insurance market will be able to cover this additional risk”.

I’m perplexed that we have a submission that sits there and says that they had confidence that there would be a filling of this gap.
— Megan Woods

But New Zealand’s largest insurer, IAG announced this week it was taking “a conservative approach to writing new business in Wellington due to the high earthquake risk in that part of the country”.

The insurer conceded this would mean Wellingtonians “may find they are unable to obtain cover”. 


Simon Darby