2 Jul 2013

EQC secures reinsurance support

8:27 am on 2 July 2013

The Earthquake Commission says it has secured full replacement of its $3.25 billion reinsurance cover at a similar cost to last year.

Commission's chief executive Ian Simpson says ongoing support of international reinsurers is an essential underpinning of the New Zealand insurance market, particularly given the pressures on EQC's natural disaster fund as a result of the Canterbury earthquakes.

Mr Simpson says the EQC has sufficient cover to meet the costs of a significant disaster, although perhaps not at the levels experienced in Canterbury.

He says if there was another sequence like Christchurch the commission would have up to $6.5 billion in cover.

He believes the re-insurance deal has implications for the wider insurance market in New Zealand.

"We think it's really profound. We think through our large programme - first of all we're considered a bit of a benchmark in terms of pricing - but also our programme's big enough to attract reinsurers that otherwise maybe wouldn't look at a small part of a different programme and therefore with more supply you get more price tension and better pricing."

EQC has received 467,000 claims made up of 736,000 building, land and contents exposures as a result of Canterbury's earthquakes, making it one of the largest insured events ever.

Mr Simpson says the fact reinsurers have confidence in EQC is a vote for all of New Zealand.