The Finance Minister Grant Robertson has said that he is concerned that there is more granular risk-based pricing being carried out now that could reduce the availability and affordability of property insurance for some New Zealanders. The government is investigating the shift, he said.
He told insurers they must not allow a class of uninsured homeowners to emerge as part of their social licence to operate is not leaving New Zealanders without cover.
Insurers have been moving to individually pricing risk on homes leading to some homeowners seeing sharp increases in premiums, and even some homeowners who are unable to secure insurance at all.
Mr Robertson, who is also Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, was speaking yesterday at the Insurance Council of New Zealand Conference in Auckland.
He said that there are three areas the industry should address to restore public confidence in insurers. The industry should ensure property insurance is affordable and easily available, gather good information to help consumers, and signal appropriate messages to consumers.
“Insurers need to make sure they are demonstrating they are working for the interests of their customers,” he said.
He said, “The Government is currently investigating pricing and access issues in the property insurance markets and the drivers behind those changes.”