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Insurance industry adjusts to a 'new normal'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

There have been a number of positive indicators for the New Zealand insurance industry in the past year - as it adjusts to the ‘new normal’ of the post-earthquake environment.

KPMG’s Insurance Update 2013, released today, reports that insurers have been making good inroads into the recovery process of the Christchurch earthquakes.

Jamie Munroe, of KPMG’s Financial Services division, describes the year to June 30 2013 as a "transitional time" for the local general insurance industry.

"Insurers have been making good inroads into the recovery process. They now have an increased understanding on the factors impacting settlements, as well as clarity from court cases coming through."

During the year ended June 30 2013, business across the insurance industry performed well. There was a 4% increase in gross written premium - to a total $4.64 billion across all classes of business.

The year was also notable for a major change in the underwriting of property risk - resulting in some new responsibilities given to policyholders.

"We’ve seen most of the industry moving from the traditional open-ended replacement cover, to fixed sum insurance policies," says Jamie Munro.

"This move was expected, as global reinsurers were unwilling to take on un-quantified cover. It has pushed the onus back on the insured to understanding the value of their property - and what is and isn’t included - when deciding on the sum insured value."

Other topics included in the KPMG Insurance Update include: the use of ‘big data’ analytics, new-generation customer engagement strategies, and key taxation issues for the insurance industry.

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