Ansvar customers vote on insurance plan
Nearly 200 Ansvar Insurance customers turned out at the Hagley Park events village today to vote on a plan to manage their claims if the insurer goes under.
Ansvar, now known as Ansvar Claims Services (ACS), withdrew from the New Zealand insurance market after last year's earthquakes, having been swamped with more than $700 million in claims.
Its only presence here now is a settlement team for the 635 former Ansvar customers with quake-related claims.
ACS put the scheme to affected customers at the meeting, recommending that they vote in favour of the plan, which it says will allow for a fair, more streamlined and cost-effective claims settlement process than a typical liquidation process if the company were to become insolvent.
The contingency plan would allow the company to keep control of the settlement process if it became insolvent.
Administrators and creditors would be appointed to ensure ACS finalises a formula for payments to claimants if a pro-rata system was needed.
The scheme needs 50 per cent support from creditors with claims against ACS, but that support must also be at least 75 per cent of the value of claims being voted on.
The outcome of today's vote was expected to be published on ACS' website within the next two days.
If a majority of customers voted in favour of the plan, the company would apply to the Auckland High Court on June 19 for approval of the scheme.
ACS chief executive Andrew Moon faced a barrage of questions from customers at the meeting, including questions over the company's current financial position.
Moon said ACS was still solvent and the scheme was a contingency plan to ensure that whatever the financial circumstances of the company in the future, creditors' interests were protected as far as possible and according to international best practice.
''We are not doing this because we are worried about going under.
''We are not doing it to pressure claimants into settling.''
Moon said the only reason the company was proposing the scheme was to protect customers' interests.
Ansvar Claimants and Support Group (ACSG) spokesman Grant Cameron said the meeting had gone ''pretty much as expected'' and he had not been approached by any group prior to the meeting to see if there should be co-ordinated resistance to the scheme.
However, concerns had been raised over the consultation process around the scheme and the fact proposed changes had not been made.
Cameron said ACSG would be proposing changes to the scheme at the High Court hearing and had engaged Auckland barrister Marc Corlett to appear on its behalf.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Has Home and Away jumped the shark? (spoiler)