Most money for rebuilding from abroad, says Govt

3:54 pm on 23 February 2011

Finance Minister Bill English says up to 90% of the cost of rebuilding Christchurch will come from overseas insurance companies.

Mr English says Tuesday's magnitude 6.3 earthquake is a setback for the economy, but the country is in a sound enough position to handle it.

He says despite the devastation, private insurers have indicated they have the capacity to cover the costs they will face.

Mr English says big insurance companies are usually behind the local ones and therefore insurance firms in Switzerland, Germany and the United States will be providing funds toward the rebuilding process.

However, Mr English says he won't speculate on the future cost of insurance in Christchurch.

AMI shuts its branches

Insurance company AMI says all its branches in Christchurch have been forced to close temporarily as a result of earthquake damage.

However, chief executive John Balmforth says AMI's services are still fully operational and anyone needing help should call its call centre on 0800 100 200.

Mr Balmforth says AMI's current priority is to help those worst-affected by the earthquake.

He says people whose homes are now unfit to live in should contact the company and make a temporary accommodation claim.