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National: the party the insurance companies bought

Written By: - Date published: 6:47 am, November 4th, 2013 - 72 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, national - Tags:

National and the Insurance Council are in lock-step in their opposition to KiwiAssure (though their terror at the prospect of a new insurer rather makes a lie of their claim that the insurance market is competitive). That’s no coincidence, the two are very closely linked.

We know that the Insurance Council’s head was Bill English’s Chief Advisor. But the links go deeper. The Hollow Men records that the insurers gave National a million dollars for its ACC privatisation policy in 2005, and a memo shows they colluded to keep the details secret. That’s very probably the largest donation in New Zealand political history. That kind of money buys a lot of loyalty.

So, when National screams that KiwiAssure won’t work (just like State Insurance ‘didn’t work’ all those years it was the publicly-owned insurer), remember that who pays the piper calls the tune.

72 comments on “National: the party the insurance companies bought”

  1. Paul 1

    Also owned by the liquor industry, hence the failure to deal with the binge drinking problems in NZ.
    Welcome to the corporatocracy of NZ.

    • Tom Gould 1.1

      By resorting to his Tory party roots, silly Tim Grafton has now hopelessly compromised the entire general insurance industry in the political and public policy spheres. I’m sure there are Chief Executives of the major insurers grinding their teeth over his amateur knee-jerk response, and they will be carefully planning ways to mend fences. No industry, especially not one so sensitive to public opinion and so integral to the commercial nexus, can afford to make an enemy of the incoming government. I suspect Grafton’s days are numbered.

      • David H 1.1.1

        But no doubt the golden parachute will soften the blow. And a nice shiny new job somewhere else.

    • TheContrarian 1.2

      Our binge drinking culture transcends politics. No party has been able to deal with it.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    You buy a prostitute. Enthusiastic amateurs come free.

  3. risildowgtn 3

    Also owned by The Transport Lobby,hence RONS.. Roads of no significant importance

    *We’re on a road to nowhere,shutup and drive*

  4. irascible 4

    Chaung, Chaung went the register as the votes were brought and sold by those who look to corrupt!

  5. vto 5

    But if an electoral system of a country allows big business to donate to parties of their choice, which then provides those chosen parties with far greater resources to turn voters their way, then surely the end result will be big business controlling pretty much everything with their big fat chequebooks…

    Disgusting
    Despicable
    Dirty

    Corrupt.

    The National Party is corrupt.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.1

      Support the blackballing of current National MPs, stopping them from trading on their time as MPs to build a lucrative business career. National’s cabinet have largely ignored the financial backers [OAK: he means the ones he represents], MPs will continue to do so unless I can point out the consequences of ignoring donors.

      If donors buy into this, and the next National government does not offer former ministers jobs there will be a clear incentive…

      Simon Lusk.

      • vto 5.1.1

        That seems to clearly indicate outright corruption.

        And yet we sit idly by in the sunshine, somehow thinking that this sort of thing doesn’t happen in New Zealand.

        If National MP’s have acted according to their donors wishes instead of their constituents wishes then surely that means pretty much every law they have enacted can be subjected to judicial review…..

        What a bunch of pigs
        (apologies to actual pigs, which have far greater standing on the planet than National Party MPs)

  6. Paul 6

    Radio New Zealand giving a lot of publicity to the Insurance Industry and Gerry Brownlee bleating on how it’s not needed. Funnily enough no journalist has questioned their vested interests…
    I becoming less and less impressed with their coverage.

    • tc 6.1

      Checkout the board of RNZ and is it any wonder. Kings College, former Nat MP’s advisers to Bolger etc etc.

  7. Saarbo 7

    Interesting, there is a good story here for anyone from the MSM that wants to run with it.

  8. Jim Nald 8

    And also, guess whose pocket NZ Herald is in?

    Latest online so-called “poll” is trying very hard to frame the answers and generate a result favourable to their money friends:

    “What do you think of Labour’s plan for a state insurance company?

    – Great idea. Insurance companies are holding out on vulnerable Kiwis.

    – I’ll support it if it stops profits going overseas.

    – No way. The last thing we need is more Government.

    – No, the costs are too high.”

    • Tat Loo (CV) 8.1

      I see that National is pushing the meme that Labour is going to “nationalise” the insurance industry. Just like KiwiBank “nationalised” the banking industry eh? LOLZ

      Also they are using the Planet Labour phrasing again…how hackneyed!

      • Tracey 8.1.1

        And the punter’s will swallow the lie. Nationalisation is the forcing of an existing company into state ownership with little of no compensation.

        Setting up a company to compete with others within an industry is usually called entrepreneurship or allowing the market to set the price and so on by national.

        labour need to start countering the nationalism lies…

        if insurance companies are doing good work and serving their customers well they have nothing to fear from a new player on the block, do they???

  9. framu 9

    is this the same insurance council who tried to tell me that even though they are forcing everyone to go to sum insured on their house insurance, they are still taking all the risk?

    Yeah – theyre reall smart ones there

    • Tracey 9.1

      Insurance companies will cream it on sum insured because unless there is a major disaster hundreds of thousands of home owners will be paying for excessive coverage they will never need. No wonder they are all queuing at bendon for new undies.

      • tc 9.1.1

        +1 the recent reinsurance under the new policies was an F’n nightmare and they’ll never lose Tracey.

        Had to invest heaps of time reading all the companies policies to discover exactly what you’ve said that we are now way over insured and carry all the risk if we can’t rebuild for that number as they’ve capped their exposure.

        WTF should they profit at all if they have no risk as they’d have this all hedged offshore built into our premiums so even in disaster they’re covered or they do an AMI and fold.

        • Foreign Waka 9.1.1.1

          Yes, its a pyramid scam. The only “insurance” that holds some form of credibility in NZ is ACC and EQC albeit some serious sabotage is going n there to undermine the basic coverage of Kiwis and create a problem that is then solved by “privatizing” the SOE’s.

  10. Ashley 10

    Surely a free market government would welcome a new player if only to test the market competitiveness theory. The fact that the Nats knee jerked a plethora of negativity suggests some cosy little deal will be exposed.
    Quite why this initiative wasn’t suggested by government remains a mystery. The appalling way the insurance ‘market’ has dealt with Christchurch is a national disgrace. NZ could learn a lot from the US, where settlement of a claim has to be completed within 6 months of the incident. A concept no insurer in NZ could even contemplate as they continue to let delay and inflation erode claims value.

  11. aerobubble 11

    The problem with the NZ housing sector
    is its lack of choice, that the only real choice
    is a expensive non-standard, maybe leaky-cold-damp
    home, no double glazing as standard, even noise
    abatement is optional. The problem is NZ has no choice,
    a competitive market in a very niche area, McMansions
    is proof how corrupt the sector is.

    But hey, let’s drill down a bit. By making homes so
    one off, piecemeal you could say, the market can suggest
    its vital and virile because it attracts higher prices.
    But its not true. When they put phone lines in, water, to
    homes, they did it all at once, however broadband is being
    done piecemeal and thus demands a high cost from consumers
    (i.e. capping charges).

    Its just another story of the rigged corrupt nature of the NZ
    economy, that the political class shutdown the market in all
    but a few niches and then allow prices to get out of control.

    Key’s government has royally screwed NZ by not rolling out
    broadband a street at a time, not a house at a time. Every time a
    new connection is needed contractors have to dig up the road
    again. That means they have to travel to each street a hundred times
    when they could just go house to house, its makes a joke of the
    whole efficiency cloak of National.

  12. Ashley 12

    Agreed!

  13. Plan B 13

    Insurance Council

    Adam Smith hand something to say about this.

    People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty or justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary.

    • Ashley 13.1

      Thank you for joining up all the dots – very insightful and informative. More’s the pity that the wider community doesn’t question the status quo preferring to believe there is no corruption in NZ and that it is ‘clean & green’. Neither is correct.

  14. Natwest 14

    We already have a Government owned insurer – it’s called EQC and, if their performance through the Christchurch Earthquakes is anything to go on, good luck to those who want to place their asset protection with Kiwiasure.

    • Tat Loo (CV) 14.1

      KiwiAssure will be a brand new organisation, with a far different scope of activity to EQC. Also EQC was never geared to cope with something the scale of the Christchuch earthquakes and there was way too much improvising going on.

      We already have a Government owned insurer – it’s called EQC and, if their performance through the Christchurch Earthquakes is anything to go on, good luck to those who want to place their asset protection with Kiwiasure.

      Don’t forget how shit private insurer AMI was. It was the public sector which had to salvage them.

      • Lanthanide 14.1.1

        The odd thing about AMI is when it first fell over there were all these people saying “well you shouldn’t have gone with a discount insurer like AMI then! you get what you pay for!” except that AMI’s premiums were pretty much the same as other offerings anyway.

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.2

        Also EQC was never geared to cope with something the scale of the Christchuch earthquakes and there was way too much improvising going on.

        Which is rather odd considering that NZ exists on the Ring of Fire. You’d think that someone would have had the imagination to consider just how much damage an earthquake could do. Hell, all they had to do was look up our history and 1931 really wasn’t all that long ago.

      • David H 14.1.3

        I hope so. Because at the moment I don’t carry insurance. I figure it will be a lot less stressful on me to just replace stuff, (Important things like photo’s are in the clouds, Docs are somewhere else.) than to go through the heartache, stress, and bullshit that the insurance companies put in their policies. They are written in a language that’s relationship to English has to be seriously questioned. Maybe Small Print should be a foreign language.

    • Foreign Waka 14.2

      It was not so much EQC but Mr Brownlee sitting on his hands and hoping for god knows what. Also there was a problem with getting hold of engineers or any trained builders, electricians etc. That disaster with the red, green, yellow stickers was something else. And to have people wandering around n the winter cold for a toilet and shower was just plain disgusting.
      To move things along some decisive leadership was needed not a consensus to milk this for the later political purpose to privatize. The outcome of this disaster has more to do with political will than anything else.

  15. Natwest 15

    The “shit insurer AMI” had a great following in Christchurch, where it offered cheap premiums, but failed to buy enough reinsurance to cover it’s liabilities. So how is Kiwiassure going to offer more competitive/cheaper premiums, when it has to buy reinsurance protection from the same market as all insurers? Not buy the required amount, and rely on the tax payer to bail it out when the balloon goes up???

    • Draco T Bastard 15.1

      when it has to buy reinsurance protection from the same market as all insurers?

      It doesn’t have to.

      • Natwest 15.1.1

        Oh, but it does!

        • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1.1

          There’s a law saying this? Or is this just you talking out your arse as per usual?

      • Naturesong 15.1.2

        Interview on Q&A yesterday, DC stated they would buy reinsurance on the international market to limit exposure.

        Like Clarke (who I personally did not like – but thats another story), Culiffe oozes competence so I would expect to see it set up properly.

        • Foreign Waka 15.1.2.1

          Excerpt from a letter relating to the Christchurch Earthquake and AMI being sold.
          http://thechristchurchfiasco.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/understanding-what-happened-to-ami/

          “The reinsurers behind the private insurers expressed dissatisfation with this scenario.
          AMIs reserves and reinsurance were above the industry recognised levels, but AMI were in effect given to IAG, removing effective competition and assuaging the reinsurers who back the large private insurers.
          This government sold out AMI to cover up their failure to heed the advice of the EQC board and its consequences when the February 2011 quake exposed the gamble they had taken”

          And who was involved in the sale? Yep, Mr Bill English.

  16. Tracey 16

    But but but ami had the crusaders rugby stadium name they must be good

    • Natwest 16.1

      They were (so called) good, until they fell over leaving their customers in the crap! You get what you pay for – cheap is not always best. Remember that when you are buying from KiwiAssure.

      • Naturesong 16.1.1

        So instead of buying naming rights to stadiums and paying dividends to policyholders Kiwiassure can spend that money on the oppropriate amount of reinsurrance

  17. Plan B 17

    One day maybe the whole AMI story will come out.
    Some points however
    1. AMI was owned by its policy holders

  18. rod 18

    I thought the insurance companies bought the National Party just before Muldoon got in, in 1975.

  19. North 19

    The sky DID fall in with Kiwibank……….didn’t it ?

  20. Fisiani 20

    The nationalist socialists of the Left are old hat. The State always knows best.

    British Labour Party in 1918 adopted Clause IV
    To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service.

    • McFlock 20.1

      And for many people the proof that Blair had destroyed labour and bought the thatcher delusion was when they revoked Clause IV.

      Clause IV is one of the finest objectives and government can have.

  21. Fisiani 21

    Cunliffe is rebranding Labour as the Clause IV party with nationalistic Kiwi this that and everything. What next, will it be Kiwifood to stop the evil Countdown and New World ripping off the Kiwi battlers/

  22. Richard McGrath 22

    Poor old Jim Anderton:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1311/S00031/they-said-kiwibank-would-fail-too.htm

    Has he forgotten that Kiwibank, which he mentions in the first paragraph, is associated with Kiwi Insure – an insurance company?

    http://www.kiwibank.co.nz/personal-banking/insurance/

    Looks like Davy boy didn’t notice it either.

    If Kiwibank is not just another arm of the Labia Party, perhaps they should consider litigation, as Silent T’s ‘KiwiAssure’ sounds more than a little like Kiwibank’s ‘Kiwi Insure’ doesn’t it?

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