Industry finds new reason not to insure

On the day the Government claimed it had "removed some of the various excuses" for earthquake insurance delays, the industry found another one.

Insurance Council chief executive Chris Ryan said yesterday insurers still needed to know which parts of Canterbury were prone to flooding post-quake.

"The key roadblock . . . is the flood data. We still haven't got that.

"There will be a significant number of properties in the Canterbury region now that may be prone to flooding and if they are it could be a problem unless that data is released very quickly."

Ryan said he understood the Government, the Christchurch City Council and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority had the information.

IAG New Zealand chief executive Jacki Johnson said: "Issues such flood risk . . . are important because they are about ensuring our customers' homes are safe and insurable."

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said yesterday he had lost his patience with private insurers' excuses for settlement delays. He cited the release of Earthquake Commission's (EQC) latest geotechnical report and its steady claims processing as reasons for the industry to "step up".

EQC chief executive Ian Simpson said the report would be used to settle the commission's 70,000 land claims.

The Press