Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/20/2012 -- New Zealand’s operating environment for the non-life insurance segment went through a significant setback in the wake of the Darfield and Christchurch earthquakes. Losses of this magnitude are a market changing event, and had an adverse affect on non-life insurers, forcing some to exit the market entirely and others to curtail their business exposure. The key challenge faced by non-life insurers is gaining access to reinsurance. Reinsurance costs increased substantially, forcing insurers to raise their rates. Aside from natural disasters, non-life insurers also face challenges relating to regulatory changes through the rollout of the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act (IPSA) 2010. Over the forecast period (2012–2016), recovery in the construction markets, improving economic conditions and consolidation in the non-life segment due to regulatory changes is expected to drive growth.
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- Rebuilding Christchurch is one of the government’s main priorities and consequently it allocated a budget of US$114.9 million to the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA), to oversee reconstruction projects in 2012.
- Due to the nation’s exposure to earthquakes, the penetration rate of property insurance products is around 90%, with 60% owning contents insurance.
- Natural disasters are not the only factor contributing to the transformation of the non-life segment. Regulatory changes through the continued rollout of IPSA have lead to significant changes in licensing rules, minimum capital requirements and higher catastrophe risk capital charges, which are anticipated to contribute to consolidation levels as the larger insurers attempt to expand their market presence by acquiring smaller firms who may face difficulty in adopting the new regulation.
- The key challenge now faced by non-life insurers is gaining access to reinsurance and processing claims.
- During the review period, brokers emerged as the leading distribution channel in the non-life segment, followed by direct marketing. However, intense competition among insurers spurred the development of alternative distribution channels. The growing rate of internet penetration is altering the playing field for insurance distributors.
- The non-life insurance segment is fragmented and dominated by a number of large insurers, mostly of Australian origin. Insurance Australia Group (NZ) Holdings Ltd., Vero Insurance New Zealand Ltd., AMI Insurance Ltd., Lumley General Insurance (NZ) and Tower Insurance Ltd. are the market leaders.
This report provides a comprehensive analysis of the non-life insurance market in New Zealand:
- It provides historical values for the New Zealand non-life insurance market for the report’s 2007–2011 review period and forecast figures for the 2012–2016 forecast period
Companies Mentioned in this Report: IAG New Zealand , Vero New Zealand , Allianz New Zealand , Farmers Mutual Group , Tower (NZ) Limited
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