Reserve Bank issues licences to 99 insurers
After a law change in September 2010 all insurers that wanted to continue doing business in New Zealand had three years to apply for and receive a licence. The Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act is designed to ensure a sound and efficient insurance sector, and to promote public confidence in the insurance sector. New insurers entering the New Zealand market must apply for a licence.
Reserve Bank Head of Prudential Supervision Toby Fiennes said the law recognised the importance of adequately protecting policyholder interests, and the public interest, while also ensuring any failure of an insurer didn't significantly damage New Zealand's financial system or economy.
"The Reserve Bank achieves this through a system of licensing insurers, prudential requirements, supervising compliance and acting when an insurer is in financial distress or other difficulties.
"The purpose of the legislation is not to eliminate all risk of insurer failure, but to reduce the likelihood of failure."
Since March 2012 insurers have been operating under provisional licences, while being assessed for a full licence.
Three insurers that are no longer writing new policies in New Zealand continue to retain provisional licences.
A list of licensed insurers is on the Reserve Bank of New Zealand website.
More information on the Reserve Bank's role as prudential regulator and supervisor for insurers.
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