joker97: if that was the case you could say if any one major local (within Australasia) insurer covered a huge proportion of Chch would have gone bust.
insurance is based on statistical data that goes back who knows how long. never before had NZ suffered such a catastrophe so the computer (the guys that crunched the gamble) didn't "see" it.
NZ is very lucky. in many countries the likes of flood, earthquakes, volcanoes, landslips, cyclones - not covered.
Well yeah, but without geographical/market spread of risk, it's all but impossible for new (startup) competition to emerge, so our industry is dominated by Aussie insurers, reinsurance sources from a small handful of European companies, Lloyds. Swiss RE, Munich RE, etc.
I think Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway through acquisition is now the only US reinsurer with a position in the Australasian market.
It is a global oligopoly. That's not how insurance started - it was once all a "mutual" - like AMI.
You can get EQ and natural disaster insurance overseas, but it's either very high cost, or very high excess (and generally no "land cover"). Because that excess is effectively covered by the EQC "cap" in NZ, there's an illusion of affordability. But if you do the sums, even at present (trebled) EQC levy, it's going to take many decades to restore reserves to an inflation adjusted "pre Chch EQ" level. If NZ has another event in the next 30 years, then we'll be paying for it in our taxes.