Insurance lawyers affected by disaster dip

by Hannah Norton30 May 2016

On 4 April 2016 the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 came into effect and replaced the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, Cress said.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) also announced in April that it is to review the operation of the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010 and the associated regulations.

The Bank aims to release an issues paper for consultation at the end of this year, with recommended changes for further consultation released in 2017, with a view to introduce legislation, subject to cabinet approval, in 2018 at the earliest.

A release from insurance and commercial litigation firm Jones & Co discussed why such a review is advantageous.

Two global insurance sector trends are creating challenges in the insurance law space – geographical regionalisation and local consolidation, Cress said.

“Many international insurance industry participants have been reducing or withdrawing claim management operations from New Zealand to manage major insurance claims on a regional basis out of Australia or elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region,” she said.

“This geographical distance from our clients creates a number of challenges [including] an increasing need to travel out of New Zealand to meet with clients; and an increased risk that foreign lawyers will compete for work on New Zealand matters.”

Local consolidation is also a key concern.

“Within New Zealand, we have recently been through a period of consolidation as major insurance companies and insurance brokers have merged with or been acquired by other companies in the same market.

“One consequence of this industry consolidation is that the number of entities operating in the market is reduced. This can be challenging in a relatively small insurance law market like New Zealand.”

Read the full story in the latest issue of NZ Lawyer magazine.

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