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NZF highlights insurance issue

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/02/2017

Ron Mark © Marty Melville/Getty Images Ron Mark New Zealand First MP Ron Mark is fired up about insurance premiums being charged to former New Zealand Defence Force personnel.

He says ex-servicemen and women are available for call up as reserves so insurers charge higher premiums.

The issue was highlighted when it was revealed Steve Askin, the former Special Air Service (SAS) soldier who died in a helicopter crash while fighting the Port Hills fire, didn't have life insurance.

More than $375,000 has been raised for his family via a givealittle page which said Mr Askin could not get life insurance due to his association with the army.

The family clarified that statement on Saturday, saying during his service with the regular army, comprehensive life insurance was provided as part of the overall remuneration package. On his release from the regular force this package was no longer provided.

He and his wife had discussed getting private life insurance but had not got around to it, the update said.

Mr Mark, a former army officer, says one former SAS soldier told NZ First he was quoted $1500 a month for mortgage protection.

"To say I am angry is an understatement because these people have bled for our country and yet insurers think it acceptable to bleed them dry over premiums," he says.

They are not on active duty as reserves, and if called up are covered by the army.

The insurance companies cannot use their reserve status as a reason to assume they are a higher risk, he says.

He's calling on Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee to find a "regulatory fix" so that serving or former personnel cannot be discriminated against when it comes to insurance and other services.

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