• Patrick McBride


IAG has announced it will review aspects of its direct distribution model with a proposal to close its 53 AMI stores, as well as its one remaining State store.

AMI Greymouth

As part of the review, consultation has begun with employees who may be affected as the company looks to redeploy as many people as possible.

IAG expects to move more than 350 roles into its digital teams and contact centres as the company bolsters its digital channels to meet changing customer needs.

Up to 65 retail management store roles could be disestablished and IAG will work actively with any affected employees regarding their future employment options with a commitment to retaining as many people as possible.

IAG Executive General Manager Customer and Consumer Kevin Hughes says the review reflects growing customer expectations for digital services.

“For several years, we’ve seen a decline in visits to our retail stores as customers increasingly look to engage with us over the phone, via email and through our online platforms and digital channels.

“Customers expect more digitally, and we are focussed on delivering that for them.

“We know our stores have been a part of their local communities for many years, so the proposal to close them has not been taken lightly,” says Mr Hughes.

IAG has been part of the New Zealand fabric for over 160 years and is committed to being there for its customers.

“We are exploring new customer service experiences, such as enabling customers to book a virtual face-to-face meeting using video conferencing technology. Customers will also be able to contact us, in the same way they always have, using the same direct dial numbers.

“We are also planning to establish pop-up mobile stores, as required, including in the event of a natural disaster.

“The specialist Customer Care Team we temporarily established as part of the response to COVID-19 will also be made a permanent service and will support our vulnerable customers, as well as those who may be facing financial hardship,” says Mr Hughes.

The AMI website stated company was founded in Christchurch in 1926 as the South Island Motor Union (SIMU), AMI Insurance evolved over 90 years into one of New Zealand's leading fire and general insurers with stores throughout the country, and 460,000 customers holding some 1.1 million policies.