New Zealand drivers want compulsory third party insurance - survey

A car steering wheel.
A car steering wheel. Photo credit: Getty

The majority of Kiwis support compulsory third party insurance according to a new survey by insurance company Canstar Blue.

Currently there is no law requiring drivers to have any insurance, including the lowest form third party, which covers other vehicles damaged in an accident but not the driver's.

The survey asked 1932 New Zealand drivers if they were in favour of mandatory insurance and Canstar Blue says the results showed the population is strongly in favour.

"Around three quarters of the Kiwis we asked, felt that third party insurance should be compulsory," general manager Jose George said.

"These are the same results as we saw last year. The feeling is stronger again amongst baby boomers with a response rate of 87 percent, that's nearly nine out of ten people in that generation."

However Insurance Council of NZ chief executive Tim Grafton says implementing compulsory insurance may be more complicated than it first appears.

"Our position is that if motor third-party property damage was compulsory then insurers would be obligated to accept motor liability insurance risks, such as high risk/high loss drivers, that they would not normally want to insure," he told Stuff.

"High-risk drivers should be paying larger premiums due to that risk, however those premiums could be unaffordable for many and the government may legislate price caps to assist in this.

"In that case, insurers would be cross-subsidising those high risk drivers with the low risk drivers."

According to Mr Grafton this means the government would need to subsidise any drivers that could slip through the gaps and end up uninsured, leading to higher premiums for all.