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Mike's Minute: We're overdue to make calls around insurance and building

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Tue, 7 Feb 2023, 9:57am

Mike's Minute: We're overdue to make calls around insurance and building

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Tue, 7 Feb 2023, 9:57am

One of the things that may be revealed out of the weather mess is the fact we are woefully underinsured as a country.

It's these sorts of things that mark you as first world, or otherwise.

One of the most insightful comments made over the summer was from David Seymour who expressed his profound concern that we are dangerously close to losing our first world status.

He is right, but sadly it won't be a discussion we have this election year, despite the fact we should.

Auckland Airport is a second world mess.

Singapore airport, a country that gets monumental amounts of rain every year, climate change or not, does not check bags in by hand because nothing works.

Singapore doesn’t have our issues, despite being a small island nation of five million. Singapore has its act together, it’s a sponge city well-built, well thought through, well prepared and very disciplined, people are wealthy, they have savings and lead first world lives.

That’s why our news was littered with stories of despair and food help and calls for high trust hand-out programmes.

It's why we build on the side of cliffs and on flood zones. We aren't alone - Australia has had similar issues and America is riddled with people with no coverage.

But that’s the point, that’s where we are headed. We don’t want to be America where the Government is the insurer of last resort, where your entire future is in the hands of an administration that may or may not help you.

That’s why we plan, and yet clearly it turns out in too many areas, we don’t.

It is overdue for us to make some big calls around building and location.

Hell, up until now we can't even build a half decent house. We are still paying for the seemingly never-ending leaky home debacle. I refuse to believe a lot of the infill nonsense that’s currently being constructed isn't going to end up as a series of slums in a decade.

We live next to rivers and hear the tale of despair on the news of the person who hired a rug doctor for the sixth time. Why live there?

If we can't get the basics right, and clearly we can't, what hope do we have in making big, bold, futuristic calls on things like build quality, location, planning and insurance.

Maybe we will focus a bit more clearly when the insurance premiums arrive and we are shelling out for our lack of foresight. Mind you, you can only focus on that if you get a bill.

And that, as we have seen and will see, is a major part of the problem.

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