In the aftermath of Christchurch’s devastating seismic catastrophe of 2010/2012, the slow and confused recovery phase that followed led Miles to examine the insurance industry, locally and globally. This has revealed a clear pattern of corporate greed at the expense of citizens and has shown that the profit-driven model of private insurance can, and very often does, fail those who have paid-up policies based on ‘good-faith’ responses that are their due. In addition, the failure of government to hold the private insurers to account, leaving the matter of protection of citizens in the hands of ‘the market’, raises huge questions about the responsibilities of government towards its citizens in times of disaster.
This is a gritty analysis and her findings are both surprising and disturbing. This is not a book about idealistic sociological concepts, but a revelation of actual Government administrative failure and financial risk-taking, in concert with corporate malfeasance. It is a book every homeowner, policy-maker, politician, local-government official, Treasury official and economist, should read.