Government should come to party over terrorism insurance

Green Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke wants the Government to help lower insurance rates with cover for terrorist events.

“Rates have skyrocketed since September 11 because insurance companies are paying through the nose for overseas ‘re-insurance’ to cover terrorism,” said Mr Locke.

“It’s absurd that local businesses have to fork out many millions extra for insurance, because of the post-September 11 panic in America.

“Realistically, even if there was a terrorist event in New Zealand, the business loss is not going to be anything near what we regularly suffer through natural disasters.

“Why couldn’t businesses pay a small levy to a Government institution, like the Earthquake Commission, and thereafter be covered for a terrorist incident?” asked Mr Locke.

“In other countries government’s are moving in to help companies. The Australian Government has announced it will provide ‘remainder insurance’ for losses above a certain level of cover.

“The Green Party supports the Insurance Council in its efforts to get the Government to help find a solution,” he said.

“Part of the problem is that insurance companies are defining terrorism so broadly that it could cover disruption or vandalism associated with protest activity, largely because these definitions are provided to them by overseas re-insurers.

“The Government providing a backstop could help overcome this problem,” said Mr Locke.