Risk-based insurance premiums 'impossible to predict' - IAG

A company which handles home and contents insurance for almost half of New Zealanders says it is impossible to predict how much premiums might increase when it moves to a risk-based pricing model in July.

With new legislation coming into effect in July, the government’s earthquake insurer the Earthquake Commission (EQC) will increase its cover on residential homes to $150,000 – up from $100,000.

However, it will no longer cover contents.

In a separate move insurer IAG, which covers home and contents insurance for about 46 percent of New Zealanders, is set in the same month to switch its premiums pricing to a risk-based system.

The company’s customer and consumer spokesperson Kevin Hughes said it needed to account for the EQC changes, and for most customers the new pricing model would not be a major issue.

“They will experience either a small or moderate increase or a small or moderate decline [in premium costs].

“For areas of higher risk and for areas which are considered to be very low risk those changes will be more significant but, as you get with any changes like this, there’ll be some extremes.”

Mr Hughes said the modelling was too complex for him to be able to give a definitive percentage change which could apply in specific areas of the country.

“Talking about all New Zealand, even if I give you general areas, inside those areas there can be different approaches.

“Generally the top of the North Island is considered less risky and from Gisborne down to Canterbury is considered to be high risk, but even that’s quite a general area and inside those there’ll be different factors at play which gives a different outcome depending on the location.”

Mr Hughes said customers would be advised of increases or decreases as their premiums come up for renewal.

IAG owns AMI, NZI, State, and also covers people who have insurance through ASB, BNZ, Westpac and the Co-Operative Bank.


Read the full article online on the RadioNZ website here.