Credit rating agency sees potential for 'significant' underwriting-led improvement in return on equity for NZ general insurers

Credit rating agency sees potential for 'significant' underwriting-led improvement in return on equity for NZ general insurers

By Gareth Vaughan

New Zealand general insurers may enjoy a significant underwriting-led improvement in return on equity at a time when global investment yields remain low, says credit rating agency AM Best.

These comments come as the Commerce Commission considers whether to approve Insurance Australia Group's acquisition of Lumley. IAG already owns NZI, AMI and State Insurance. The Lumley takeover would increase IAG's share of the overall New Zealand insurance market to about 50.5% from 41.5%, lift its share of the home and contents and vehicle insurance market to 66% from 60%, and give it 40% of New Zealand's intermediated insurance market.

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