Lumley Insurance expanded to hasten claims

ALAN WOOD
Last updated 05:00 05/09/2012

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Lumley Insurance wants to employ or contract another 50 local staff to process earthquake claims.

The insurer is expanding its Christchurch response unit to provide a faster resolution to earthquake claims, having already started rebuilding more than 300 homes.

The staff would form the Lumley Canterbury Response Unit, owned and managed directly by Lumley Insurance.

The insurer had about 9 per cent of the Canterbury domestic market, with a 60/40 split between commercial and residential insurance.

In the residential sector it had about 330 rebuilds completed or substantially under way, acting chief executive Alistair Smith said.

In a recent survey about responses by insurers to the earthquakes by volunteer organisation Insurance Watch, IAG was rated the worst with Vero not far behind.

Lumley was rated best.

Smith said Lumley was a sizeable insurer, in the same order of AMI Insurance but active in different parts of the market. The insurer had a distribution or intermediary agreement through Westpac bank as well as through brokers.

The insurer's preference was to use local resources as much as possible, whether their expertise was as an assessor, project manager or builder, Smith said.

Vero head of communications Ron Burke said that through its partnership with MWH Mainzeal, the insurer had based more than 200 people in Christchurch since the beginning of last year working on claims.

Vero had been using local tradespeople for many months, involved in physical repairs and rebuilds.

Vero recently said it had settled close to 40 per cent of its commercial claims and about 25 per cent of its residential claims.

IAG, the country's largest general insurer, recently said it had settled about 47 per cent of its 13,070 commercial claims.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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