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Insurance Business | 21 Dec 2015, 11:00 a.m. Agree 0
The New Zealand insurance industry has hit back at being ranked seventh on a consumer advocacy organisation’s list of shame.
  • Michael J Sinclair | 27 Dec 2015, 11:20 a.m. Agree 0
    From my experience through thr ChCh earthquake this is a correct summary of the Insurance Industry. This is an industry which has no morals, is dishonest and dishonourable and for the sake of Kiwis in future disasters must be regulated. It is not fit to self regulate as it has shown to many in Christchurch. The fact that the CEO was selected from the ranks of political spin doctors says all we need to know about this industry.REGULATE THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY.
  • Paul King | 28 Dec 2015, 12:51 p.m. Agree 0
    The insurance industry only has itself to blame. Insurance premiums are paid and then when the event happens they don't fulfil their part of the contract to payout. They then try and find every way they can to delay defend and or deny the claim.
  • Tim | 13 Jan 2016, 02:54 p.m. Agree 0
    I'm absolutely offended by the two commentators above (Michael & Paul) tarring the entire industry with the brush of their personal experience.

    As a broker I pride myself on having the highest standards for the care of my clients, including their claims. When they pay their premiums they know what they're getting, and understand that policies also have exclusions.

    To suggest I have no morals, am dishonest and dishonourable is disingenuous to say the least. It's ignorance of the industry that leads to these vague and spiteful comments.

    Assuming insurers delay, defend or deny every claim suggests that comment too is made from ignorance.

    My clients appreciate the service they get, and the claims they get paid out on. That's why they use us.

    What particular axes do these two have to grind, I wonder? I smell Southern Response in this. Perhaps you should have used a broker - insurance isn't a commodity. Yet.

    Clearly the industry needs better PR, but it's hard to dress up a grudge purchase, which is what insurance is to most people, for better or worse.
  • Paul King | 13 Jan 2016, 05:23 p.m. Agree 0
    Tim, are you Tim Grafton who is meantion in the above article and also in this article It is not just Michael and myself who are saying the industry is dishonest .. the original article is about just that .. the insurance industry has been put on the Consumer NZ list of shame. Why don't you put your mouth where your clients money is Tim and tell us how many clients you had in the Canterbury area and what is the shortest and the longest time those clients had to wait before they were paid or their houses repaired?
  • David | 13 Jan 2016, 05:40 p.m. Agree 0
    Tim, I think the two commentators you are referring to are talking about Insurance Companies, rather than brokers. Like any service industry, with brokers there are good & bad ones. But, with the insurance companies, the balance appears a bit lop-sided. In Christchurch there are some claimants who are quite happy, but there are many who are not. Of course insurers do not "delay, deny, defend" every claim. That would be silly, and the insurance industry is certainly not silly. But, some claims, for a variety of reasons, are dragging on, and these are the ones in particular that result in negative opinions and publicity. It would be of great interest if Consumer covered some individual cases in detail, just to illustrate some of the bad behaviour within the industry. Its also notable that when claimants finally resort to taking their insurer to court, many of the claims settle before the hearing date, some the day before, and claimants are under considerable pressure to sign non-disclosure agreements. Now why could that be? Surely the insurers should be happy to allow claimants to disclose the details of their settlements? After all, the court would only be enforcing the terms of the Policy !!! Nothing more.
  • Paul King | 13 Jan 2016, 05:42 p.m. Agree 0
    If you search "insurance didn't pay anything" on you get 160,000,000 results.
  • CB | 13 Jan 2016, 06:55 p.m. Agree 0
    Tim sounds very defensive, as he might well be given his association with this disreputable business. To deny the appalling behaviour of ALL the insurers in the post-quake environment is delusional at best. If you are ignorant of the complaints of insurance victims I suggest you to educate yourself about the unethical and unprofessional tactics employed by insurers to avoid a fair settlement.
  • Andrew | 14 Jan 2016, 09:05 a.m. Agree 0
    Personally we had a very positive experience with our insurance company (Tower), after the Christchurch earthquakes. Unfortunately I cannot say the same for EQC who definitely tried to duck their responsibility.
  • Curious George | 15 Jan 2016, 12:55 p.m. Agree 0
    If you search "insurance paid out" on you get 545,000,000 results.......... Just saying.
  • CB | 15 Jan 2016, 10:08 p.m. Agree 0
    You should know curious George, devil's in the detail..."insurance paid out"....only half the claim...."insurance paid out"....after I sued the company.
  • Paul King | 17 Jan 2016, 09:47 p.m. Agree 0
    So if we use the blunt numbers insurance companies don't pay out on 30% of claims. Not a bad little earner for a dishonest industry who follows the deny, delay, defend behaviour designed by McKinsey. Google "mckinsey deny delay defend" for details of how the industry runs its business. This behaviour is premeditated. Look up what Warren Buffet told the Wall Street journal about reinsurance and paying claims at a much later date so he could use the float in the meantime.
  • Boomer | 19 Jan 2016, 10:09 a.m. Agree 0
    I am in my 47th year as an insurance professional and have worked in roles across the spectrum. I have never ever worked for nor dealt with a company that had this philosophy. Sure there have been times when there have been through investigations required but in the majority of cases - prompt claims settlement has been the outcome. Why on earth would it be otherwise?
  • Michael J Sinclair | 19 Jan 2016, 12:36 p.m. Agree 0
    Boomer, you have obviously been paying no attention at all to what is happening in ChCh. Delay, deny and defend is rife and is a strategy not an accident. Very surprising that a 47 year industry professional would know nothing about the problems in ChCh. More study required.
  • Boomer | 19 Jan 2016, 12:40 p.m. Agree 0
    I am simply relating my own experiences with insurers and brokers as I have found them.
  • observer | 22 Jan 2016, 02:03 p.m. Agree 0
    Paul, Michael & CB et el. Im not sure which insurance companies you are referring to but we do need to make some things clear. Firstly EQC and Southern Response are not insurance companies. This appears to be where the most dissatisfaction comes from. The EQC is basically a government department and is run as efficiently (sarcastic) as one. As for Southern response, this is a run-off company and quite frankly those people are lucky to get anything! They bought cheap and got a cheap result. Its only thanks to the generous long suffering tax payer that you will get anything so show some gratitude. Many of the other delays have been caused by EQC not agreeing with the Insurers about the extent of the damage and cost of repair (The Insurers have generally thought that the cost of repair is significantly more than the EQC assessment - but cant move forward until the EQC changes its position). Contrary to what you believe, Insurers dont make money by not paying claims. Ultimately we are lucky in this country that earthquake insurance is both fully available and relatively cheap compared with overseas.
  • Paul King | 22 Jan 2016, 05:07 p.m. Agree 0
    Dear Observer, why don't you want to use your real name? Ashamed to be part of the insurance industry? AMI Insurance had the same insurance company licence as every other one when I purchased my policy and made the same claims every other insurance company made and makes that they would rebuild my home and that they were solvent. Our Government has people checking that these companies are financially sound and if the industry knew this wasn't the case then why did they not report this to the authorities? How do I know now which insurance companies are solvent? I expect many of them aren't. If the insurance companies you speak of are such pillars of virtue then why don't they fix their clients homes as they promised in the policies and adverts and then claim the overcap payments off EQC after the houses are rebuilt. You insurance people disgust me how you protect the Charlatans in your midsts. I note Grant Cameron has a file where the company states "Hide what you can hide" to the engineers involved in costing the claim. Absolutely fraudulent and disgusting and the Serious Fraud Office needs to burst in and seize everyones files and the Government needs to pay the claims as they assumed the role of Guarantor. I was a shareholder in AMI and so far I have had nothing for my shares and my claim has not been paid either.
  • CB | 22 Jan 2016, 10:23 p.m. Agree 0
    Nope, I was not talking about EQC or SR, I refer to the biggest insurer in the region. There's a reason they get the lowest ratings. Yeah sure, they don't make money when they don't pay out claims, pft, heard of interest? Hundreds of thousand paid by reinsurers and it's been in the insurance companies' banks for years now. Lowest of the low targeting quake victims and picking off the vulnerable. The pay must be good to sell your soul to these vultures.
  • Tim | 25 Jan 2016, 11:26 a.m. Agree 0
    CB - R/I isn't paid up front. The "biggest insurer in the region" has exhausted its natural disaster reinsurance protection for the Christchurch claims, so in fact it isn't being paid at all in this case.
  • Michael J Sinclair | 18 Feb 2016, 11:16 p.m. Agree 0
    Hello Observer, long time past, but I just saw your comment......."As for Southern response, this is a run-off company and quite frankly those people are lucky to get anything! They bought cheap and got a cheap result. Its only thanks to the generous long suffering tax payer that you will get anything so show some gratitude"......a little back ground for you. Successive Governments allowed AMI to operate what was in effect, a Ponzi scheme of Insurance. They had over 40% of the Canterbury residential market at the time of the quakes. They had only $800 million in reinsurance cover (in comparo, Vero with 8% market had $6 billion reinsurance cover) . The banks which held the mortgages on these AMI properties were understandably upset that this AMI Ponzi scheme had endangered their equity. What do you imagine the banks told Key and English? If you, as a long suffering taxpayer, feel aggrieved to be paying for the AMI default, talk with your Government representative. This industry needs proper regulation. This situation could still happen again to other Kiwis.
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