A.M. Best’s Briefing: New Zealand Earthquakes to Challenge Underwriting Performance of Domestic Property Insurers

SINGAPORE--()--The insured losses from a recent series of earthquakes in New Zealand could be material for some domestic insurance companies, according to an A.M. Best briefing.

The Best’s Briefing, titled, “New Zealand Earthquakes,” states that claims from the earthquakes, which began on Nov. 14, 2016, are likely to impact the underwriting performance of some property insurers, especially those with high-risk accumulation in the upper South Island and the lower North Island. However, it is too early to determine the exact impact that the earthquakes will have on the financial condition of the New Zealand insurance sector as a whole. According to the Insurance Council of New Zealand, total gross written premium of the general insurance industry amounted to approximately NZD 5.3 billion in 2015. IAG and Vero Insurance are the major general insurers in the affected regions.

A.M. Best does not expect to take rating actions on its rated companies in the near term. However, high uncertainty remains with regard to the ultimate insured loss; therefore, the impact on the financial strength of A.M. Best-rated companies with significant exposure in the affected regions will be closely monitored.

To access a copy of this briefing, please visit http://www3.ambest.com/bestweek/purchase.asp?record_code=256017.

A.M. Best is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2016 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Contacts

A.M. Best
Jason Shum, +65 6589 8400, ext. 217
Senior Financial Analyst
jason.shum@ambest.com
or
Christopher Sharkey, +1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
Manager, Public Relations
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com
or
Jim Peavy, +1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
Director, Public Relations
james.peavy@ambest.com

Contacts

A.M. Best
Jason Shum, +65 6589 8400, ext. 217
Senior Financial Analyst
jason.shum@ambest.com
or
Christopher Sharkey, +1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
Manager, Public Relations
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com
or
Jim Peavy, +1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
Director, Public Relations
james.peavy@ambest.com