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Friday, December 16, 2011

AMI Insurance update - takeover by IAG

AMI has been purchased by IAG. The result is the Crown (government) through a Crown owned company will take over settling AMI's earthquake claims using AMI and government money.

The new AMI insurance company will be owned by IAG and carry on business as normal, with the exception of the earthquake claims. IAG today issued a commitment to AMI customers which can be found here.

AMI have a questions and answers page here to explain how policy holders will be affected. Some choice bits:
Does my AMI Insurance policy still offer the same protection?
Yes it does. Your current policies are exactly as before with the same renewal dates.
On what date will these changes become effective?
The changes are expected to be complete early next year subject to IAG obtaining the necessary regulatory consents.
Can I still take out new policies and will this new policy be with AMI or IAG?
Yes, we welcome your new business subject to current and future underwriting conditions that may be apply.  Policies taken out after settlement will be effectively underwritten by IAG, the new owner of AMI, but will be under the name of  AMI Insurance.
If I live in Canterbury, will AMI continue to insure my property when AMI is owned by IAG?
AMI remains committed  to continue insuring our Canterbury customers.
Can I still make a claim?
Yes - The claims process will remain unchanged. You will contact AMI in the normal way, via one of our Branches, by phone or by mailing a claims form to lodge your claim. If the purchase process is completed, you claim will be managed by AMI, a company owned by IAG.
Will my policy be renewed?
Yes, all policies will continue to renew on their annual renewal date.
Who do I contact – AMI or the separate government-owned earthquake claims company?
At this time please continue to contact us on 0800 100 200 for all your insurance needs.  If you have an earthquake claim with AMI please continue to use the direct dial POD phone number provided to you until otherwise advised.
If there was another earthquake or other natural disaster, would claims be referred to the separate government owned earthquake claims company or handled by AMI?
If there is an earthquake after settlement date, all claims will be referred to the insurer in the normal way. Up to that time, the Government backed earthquake company will be responsible for the management of earthquake claims.
Who will own the separate government owned earthquake claims company?
The Government will own the Canterbury earthquake claims company, including the existing earthquake reinsurance receivables associated with those claims.
 What about the earthquake claim I have already lodged?
You won’t even notice the transition to the separate government-owned earthquake claims company. Your claim will continue to be processed by the same people who are working on it now.
Will the separate government owned earthquake claims company have any income?
It will draw on Government provided capital to settle earthquake claims and will not generate any income from policyholders.
What happens if it runs out of cash and there are still earthquake claims to settle?
Based on the estimated claims cost and assuming the sale is completed, it is not currently expected that further Crown support will be required beyond the amounts already provided. However, if necessary the Government will contribute extra cash to settle every valid claim.
Do all the current rights of policyholders continue when the company is split?
All AMI current policies continue in force as before and can only be varied by agreement with the policyholder. 
More information is available on the AMI website here.
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