In New Zealand, Zurich’s general insurance products are underwritten by Zurich Australian Insurance Limited (ZAIL), trading as Zurich New Zealand.
ZAIL’s solvency margin at 31 December 2018 was AUD $281m (Dec-17: AUD$360m) in excess of prescribed capital amount required by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), with a capital ratio of 1.92 (Dec-17:2.11). This is based on the adjusted net assets of AUD $587m (Dec-17: AUD$685m) compared to a prescribed capital amount of AUD $306m (Dec-17: AUD $325m). ZAIL is regulated by both the APRA and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
ZAIL has an insurer financial strength rating of A+ from Standard & Poor’s (Australia) Pty Ltd. This rating shows that the company has strong financial security characteristics.
Standard & Poor’s rating scale for an insurer’s financial strength, together with a summary of Standard & Poor’s description is: AAA (Extremely Strong), AA (Very Strong), A (Strong), BBB (Good), BB (Marginal), B (Weak), CCC (Very Weak), CC (Extremely Weak), R (Regulatory Supervision), NR (Not Rated). Ratings from ‘AA’ to ‘CCC’ may be modified by the addition of a plus (+) or minus (-) sign to show relative standing within the major rating categories. Further information on these ratings is available from www.standardandpoors.com.
An overseas policyholder preference applies. Under Australian law, if ZAIL is wound up, its assets in Australia must be applied to its Australian liabilities before they can be applied to overseas liabilities. To this extent, New Zealand policyholders may not be able to rely on ZAIL’s Australian assets to satisfy New Zealand liabilities.