One of New Zealand's biggest insurers is considering closing most of its branches in a move which could affect 91 staff at 21 offices.

Craig Olsen, executive general manager of State Insurance, has announced the move, saying it was prompted by 94 per cent of customers using the website or phone to do their business.

"Ninety-one employees across 21 State branches are potentially impacted by the proposal," a company statement said.

"The exception is State's Riccarton branch in Christchurch, where it's been identified that specific customer needs related to earthquake-related insurance claims justify a different approach.


"We recognise this is unsettling and potentially disappointing for employees who have served customers face-to-face so well, and often for a long time. We are committed to supporting our people and should the proposal proceed we will look at redeployment opportunities across our wider business."

State is part of insurance group IAG's direct insurance division, which employs around 1400 people, the business said.

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