Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: Tower Insurance Have Some Bad News For You

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  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Bear in mind....
    Tower was government owned originally

    Yup. And when it was I had my insurance with them.

    As for the need for (international) reinsurance, the EQC already does that so I see no real change except the local companies would have a competitor that did not have the profit imperative and instead could have the goal of providing insurance.

    Shock/horror an insurance provider whose aim was to provide insurance.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Joel Cayford,

    You can see this blog at: http://joelcayford.blogspot.com/2011/06/faulty-thinking-about-christchurch.html

    There is another post immediately following that one about plate tectonics and what's happening. User friendly.

    Revelatory stuff Joel, much appreciated.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    It would do no good if they didn't - all our insurance companies would need to be bailed out by the government when something big happened and then it's not insurance, it's just the government paying for everything again. At least at the moment some is being covered by overseas.

    Yes, but all of the premiums also went overseas.

    I still don't buy that we can't afford to fix Christchurch. The question of a levy has never even been asked. It would definitely be something Labour could campaign on. Even if they don't get in, it would actually be the right thing to do, and could exert pressure on National to pull their heads out of this mindset that the country is broke and needs to be broken some more before it gets better. It's not broke, but it is broken, and it needs fixing, and begging the international financial market isn't going to work. We have to find the resources within NZ to do it. It's time for the financial markets to prove themselves to us, for a change.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to BenWilson,

    Sad thing (for me always) Ben is that it comes right back down to the mindset that has enveloped the world .The fact is, it's all about the money.Unfortunately it's always the little players in the casino that get stung. Like pawns in the chess game.Dispensable. The problem in Christchurch now is who's got stung. Next up is those who profit from this traumatic event.It ain't gonna be just the reinsurers.
    :((

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Sorry Ian, see and read, you got there first!

    no need to apologise, all part of crowd source reinforcement - and of course further proof that great minds think alike... ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7948 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Sad thing (for me always) Ben is that it comes right back down to the mindset that has enveloped the world .The fact is, it's all about the money.

    Listen to this Sat Morning piece on Tax havens.

    Heh. Love the Pinstripe Army.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to BenWilson,

    all our insurance companies would need to be bailed out by the government when something big happened and then it’s not insurance, it’s just the government paying for everything again.

    People seem to forget that "The Government" is us, or the people we elect to represent us and that the money we spend within our country is merely numbers on "bits of paper" (actually, these days it is merely bits).
    The History of Civic Assurance shows us that we would have had no problem if the greed heads had not taken over the temple. We are constantly told that the Private Sector is far better at making profits than the Public Sector, mainly because the Public Sector doesn't need to make a profit. We are constantly told that the Government should not be in any kind of business and that "Hard Earned Money"™ should stay in the pockets of those that grabbed it, Government should allow those that can afford to buy the countries assets to rape the citizens of Aotearoa for their own "Unjust Enrichment".
    I beseech you all to seek out and watch this enlightening documentary.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Next up is those who profit from this traumatic event.It ain’t gonna be just the reinsurers.

    No. This really worries me.
    A disproportionate number of NZ's wealthy are property developers. With high returns, if it comes off (and hey, it's probably not their money if it fails), no capital gains tax, and significant advantages to larger players (it's much easier to get planning consent if you have a team of legal experts, planning consultants, and graphic designers, to show just how legitimate, necessary and darn pretty your development will be) it's not hard to see why.
    Now we're hearing that new sections in 'greenfields' developments will cost about $200,000. This seems outrageous. (Any idea where one could find a clear break-down of all the costs (and who and where profit is taken) for sections at this price?)
    Surely if 30 or so residents of a street or area got together, they'd be able to buy 4-6 acres of suitable land, subdivide it (or negotiate a collective ownership) and add amenities (and a park/playgound) for less than $6m.
    Already the interests of demolition companies apparently trump any sentimental attachment you may have to your house; the government that is forcibly evacuating the red zone may re-mediate the land and sell it for a profit; and construction companies are gearing up for big profits.
    Capitalism has its uses, but preying on the stricken should not be one of them.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    I especially like the bit where Brownlee told Hutching that "there may not be a log-jam because he calculates quite a number of Red Zone residents will head off to rest homes, others will leave town..."
    Gee Gerry, which rest homes would those be?

    Sheesh. Does the clown think they're hotels or something?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    The question of a levy has never even been asked. It would definitely be something Labour could campaign on.

    It was asked very early by the Greens - and if Labour would get over their tribal animosity, something useful may have been done before now about jointly promoting that option to voters. Waiting until just before the election won't cut it either.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Sad thing (for me always) Ben is that it comes right back down to the mindset that has enveloped the world .

    You are right, although I often find that seeing it in this context can be disempowering. We can't change the whole world. But we can fix Christchurch. It's still our country, our government, that we elect, which still has huge power to force insurers operating here to honor commitments they made. It's a hundred times more powerful than Tower, and should be acting like it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sacha,

    It was asked very early by the Greens

    Yes, I meant it was never asked of the people. Which is pretty fucked, really, since it's a big enough problem to easily justify such a question.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Capitalism has its uses, but preying on the stricken should not be one of them.

    Actually, it is one of its raison d'etres. Otherwise as a beast, how could it survive?

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    Yes, I meant it was never asked of the people

    Initial polling showed qualified public support. Taking it to the next stage politically would have required parties working together. Ideologically the government was never going to do that when they had a golden excuse to slash public services.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to BenWilson,

    It's a hundred times more powerful than Tower, and should be acting like it

    Just checking, is Tower now shorthand for all insurance companies? I know that Dr Haywood's experience is with Tower, but from what I've read so far, this interpretation appears to apply to all of them. Have any other insurance companies stepped up to say that they would handle this differently? Or are they just happy that they have not yet had the spotlight on them?

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Revelatory stuff Joel, much appreciated.

    Ain't it though!
    The two reports he references appear to have been wilfully ignored by City Planners and Officials. I'm surprised that Mark Yetton hasn't, justifiably, taken one of his appearances in TV interviews to say "I told you so!", but I think he has more class than our all elected representatives put together...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7948 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Christopher Dempsey,

    Otherwise as a beast, how could it survive?

    One lives in hope that if constrained within a strong regulatory framework, it might revert to offering better moustraps.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sacha,

    Initial polling showed qualified public support. Taking it to the next stage politically would have required parties working together.

    Yes, although naturally the party that mattered would have been the National Party. But even if Labour and the Greens had managed to make a combined public show of considering the idea, it could have gained considerably more traction. And it's still not out of the question now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Revelatory stuff Joel, much appreciated

    +1
    Heard about the 1880s, but the 1901 Cheviot 'quake sounds dreadful.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    And it's still not out of the question now.

    If someone bangs some precious heads together, perhaps.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    I wonder if the fact that J Brownlee says they're not going to forcibly evict homeowners from the Red Zone, (they'll just cut all services) might encourage some hardy souls to stay put and see if they can make a go of living off-grid.

    In his interview on RadioNZ David mentioned that they already have a well at their place (and so do lots of their neighbours) - and since the earthquake a composting shortdrop toilet and grey water - so all they'd need would be electricity which could be generated with solar panels and/or a wind generator.

    I think it will be interesting to see if anyone decides to have a go at it - especially as there have been newspaper reports of pockets of (relatively) undamaged houses that will be demolished purely because they're in the Red Zone. In those pockets especially I don't think it would be impossible for the homeowners to get together to share the costs of installing the things they need in order to live off-grid.

    I know it would cost money to do, but if it's a choice between losing your home (and a large chunk of $$) altogether and trying the off-grid solution, maybe some people will think it's worth giving it a go.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 332 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to webweaver,

    I so hope so. I'd love to see that . Could be a very interesting precedent set for future situations. And would your rates be really low without services? I suggest an email off to the Greens for advice. Also, costs wise, we are doing that up north and it is not that expensive to implement.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to webweaver,

    I wonder if the fact that J Brownlee says they're not going to forcibly evict homeowners from the Red Zone, (they'll just cut all services)

    In America such practices are known as planned shrinkage - a kind of officially-enforced benign neglect.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5439 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    Have any other insurance companies stepped up to say that they would handle this differently?

    This is an important question. I've read a number of people saying they'll be dropping Tower because of this behaviour. As far as I can tell, it's not just Tower people should be dropping; and it's not clear who people might want to sign up with instead. Anyone know?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew, in reply to webweaver,

    I know it would cost money to do, but if it's a choice between losing your home (and a large chunk of $$) altogether and trying the off-grid solution, maybe some people will think it's worth giving it a go.

    True - David says he stands to lose at least $200K, that would buy a fair whack of solar/wind generation and storage, and leave enough change to be worth counting.
    Especially if Tower repairs the house first.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

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