Insurance Australia Group (IAG) is proposing to cut branch numbers for its AMI brand but says job losses will be minimal.

The move by IAG - New Zealand's largest insurer - comes as it plans to introduce risk-based pricing which could see customers who live in areas prone to natural disasters and severe weather pay more for home insurance in a progressive roll-out from July 1.

Alex Geale, executive general manager of AMI's retail network, said it was reviewing its network as a result of customer preferences changing.

"We are increasingly finding that our customers across New Zealand are preferring to contact AMI through other means, rather than visiting their local stores.

Advertisement

Geale said at the same time it was seeing strong growth in digital engagement including through social media and its website as well as over the phone.

"This means the number of customers visiting some stores has reduced significantly."

Geale said it was considering closing branches in Alexandra, Feilding, Hawera, Motueka, Porirua, South Dunedin and Thames.

"While it is disappointing that we might have to close a small number of stores, AMI will continue to be there for New Zealanders, whether they live in urban areas or smaller communities, by providing service in the way they want it to be - conveniently, efficiently and effectively."

If the closures go ahead AMI's network would be reduced to 51. Geale said it would still have the biggest retail network of any insurer in New Zealand.

The company said in a statement that it expected the changes to result in few job losses.

"All affected customer-facing staff will be offered other employment in the organisation, including allowing them to work remotely from home or in other locations."

A final decision on the closures will be made by the end of the month.