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Time for disruption in NZ

02 Sep 2017

The New Zealand market could be about to experience a wave of disruption from global insurers.

Speaking at the 2017 RIMS Risk Forum Australasia, held in Sydney last week, a trio of CEOs said that their firms could be looking to make a move in the market.

Noel Condon, CEO of AIG in Australia, said that his firm could look to take on the big two of the New Zealand market – IAG and Suncorp.

“We are increasing pricing, staying the course and we are trying to take on the big guys,” Condon said. “Actually, we are going to take on the big guys because I think they have a big piece of the home insurance market over there and it is time for disruption.”

Raj Nanra, CEO of general insurance at Zurich Australia, noted that his firm’s recent acquisition of Cover-More could give it new opportunities.

“75% of that market is controlled by two carriers and there is opportunity to disrupt for Zurich,” Nanra said. “We have bought Cover More and it’s a new opportunity for us so watch that space for disruption. We won’t take them head on but will look for opportunities within the market.”

Meanwhile, Willem Van Wyk, CEO of Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty in the Pacific, said that while his firm has always had limited interest in the New Zealand market, that is beginning to change as the business has gone from one to four staff members this year.

“It is a good growing market,” Van Wyk said. “Obviously, it’s very careful on the property side but at least the prices are moving in the right direction so you can get business on the right terms there.”

With the Pacific region the only place in the world with insurance prices heading in the right direction, John Donnelly, head of placement for Asia Pacific at Marsh, said that increases in New Zealand have helped boost the regional market.

“I would say that the Pacific is a little skewed by some really steep increases in New Zealand following the earthquake but we still are seeing increases in this market,” Donnelly told attendees.

With Vero’s proposed merger with Tower still undecided, changes could be on the way for the market on a host of fronts.

 

 - Insurance Business

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