Insurance boss 'astounded' more customers don't shift between insurance providers

Insurance boss 'astounded' more customers don't shift between insurance providers

By Gareth Vaughan

People should shop around for insurance deals that suit them best and consider splitting their insurance needs between more than one insurer, says AA Insurance CEO Chris Curtin.

Curtin told interest.co.nz in a Double Shot interview that, although it might sound counter intuitive for someone in his position to be saying this, it makes sense for consumers to shop around.

"From my perspective consumers need to create some competitive pressure on prices by shopping around," said Curtin.

"It doesn't matter if you're in the market to buy a fridge or a washing machine (or) insurance. (For) any goods or service people should shop around. There's nothing better than a competitive insurance market so consumers do have a part to play."

He said it "astounds" him that, at a time when customers' face record high insurance premiums, only one in eight people actually switch provider when their policy is up for renewal.

"I think that's extraordinary," Curtin said.

However, he argues people shouldn't choose insurance policies based on price alone.

"That's simply not the thing that people should do. What they should be looking for is the cover that suits their needs, and making sure that the insurer they're dealing with is financially strong. But at the end of the day when those things stack up and they (insurers) are very similar, then people should shop around for the best deal for themselves."

"And that might mean, for example, splitting your insurances up. I know nowadays people want to put all of their insurances together. But that's not necessarily the best outcome for individual customers," said Curtin.

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7 Comments

Absolutely shop around,
I just renewed my car insurance and found a difference of over $200 between the different insurers I got quotes from. This is for the same car and same driver/ owner - me.

I recently shifted to FMG. So far, so good.

Sounds good, but his firm doesn't walk the walk. Buying a rental here in Chch, minimal EQ damage, all repaired, TC2, AA Insurance response "I'm sorry we aren't writing any new policies in that area." The only insurer up for it was the vendor's, who in effect have a monopoly.
This guy needs to get out more.

How can you tell if an insurer is financially strong after what happened to AMI?

How can you tell if an insurer is financially strong after what happened to AMI?

Just ask the directors if they have any friends in Cabinet.

Ask if they are taxpayer backed to the hilt.
Ask if they payout full cover on day of disaster, or wait at least 3-5 years to fund the deficit, from the over pricing of even more Insurances at a huge, huge premium increase?.
Ask if they Insured over 27 Finance Companies and Solid Energy?.
Ask, Do they insure Politicians, Banks and not old people, who cannot count?.
Ask if a Coal Mine was part of their coverage on West Coast?, or where the hell Fukishima was out sourced and re-insured too.
Ask if they have an indemnity clause for future risk from same.?
Ask them if they know what re-insurance truly means?.  Would they bet their house on it?.
Ask is it means tested, based on Insurance Company Directors and Owners benefits?, or just you take the excess, after their excess.
Ask is it Quantative Eased, or out of their control.?
Just asking??.