An insurance company owned by New Zealand's local councils is one of three insurers that will be allowed to continue to operate on a provisional licence.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand yesterday said it had issued full licences for 99 insurers after a three-year licensing regime designed to promote public confidence in the sector.

But New Zealand Local Government Insurance, which trades as Civic Assurance, ACS (NZ) and Southbury Insurance, will continue on provisional licences where they are able to continue paying out claims but may not sell new insurance.

ACS (NZ) stopped selling insurance in New Zealand in November 2011 and is only handling claims while Southbury Insurance, which was part of the South Canterbury Finance business, is in liquidation.


New Zealand Local Government Insurance chief executive Tim Sole said the company hoped to apply for a full licence and begin selling insurance again once it had resolved a dispute with reinsurers.

Sole said the company, which is owned by 67 out of 78 local councils, had significant claims outstanding in Christchurch where it was the insurer for "hundreds" of buildings.