22 Aug 2009

More NZers letting insurance lapse - AMP

7:02 am on 22 August 2009

The New Zealand arm of insurer AMP says there has been a rise in the number of people cancelling or failing to pay insurance cover.

The insurer and fund manager on Thursday reported a 9% fall in operating earnings to $29.3 million for the six months to June.

While the number of new policies grew, margins from life insurance were squeezed by lower returns on bond and cash rates.

The company says stricter cost management and better margins in its risk insurance sector helped mitigate the reduction in profits.

AMP's chief executive, Craig Dunn says the company is battling hard to address a rise in New Zealanders letting their insurance cover slip.

On the positive side of the ledger, he says, were strong growth net cash flows from KiwiSaver and good cash control.

The company's priorities in New Zealand include reviewing its wealth management and life insurance products.