Good news for New Zealand’s insurance industry has been scarce. The country has been struggling with continuous aftershocks after the disastrous quake that struck Christchurch in February. The situation has been so taxing on the country’s insurance industry that many companies have pulled out completely. Now there are more than $3 billion worth of uninsured assets in Canterbury, the region in which Christchurch resides. The city council has been scrambling to obtain some kind of insurance coverage.
The majority of insurance policies in the Canterbury area expired a few days ago, leaving many residents whose homes were either damaged or otherwise destroyed relying upon the government to help them recover. In the wake of the disaster, however, most people do not have the means to leave their homes, putting the government at further risk if yet another quake were to strike. The situation in Canterbury is so dire that the government has been offering to pay residents to leave their homes, which would be demolished.
There is good news amidst the bad, however, as the Christchurch City Council announces that it has obtained limited insurance coverage for some of its assets. Brokers from New Zealand are currently engaged in negotiations with overseas markets in the effort to expand the coverage. This has taken significant pressure off of the government and officials say that, because of the insurance, limited though it may be, if another disaster were to strike, there would be enough money to repair any damage to the nation’s infrastructure.