AMI set to shut up shops

Photo: ODT
Photo: ODT
Fifty-three AMI Insurance branches will shut - including Dunedin, Mosgiel, Gore, Queenstown, Invercargill and Oamaru sites - if a proposal goes ahead.

IAG announced today it would review parts of its direct distribution model and the proposal included closing its AMI branches and its sole remaining State Insurance branch, in Christchurch.

Consultation has begun with affected employees.  The company hopes to retain many of them.

IAG expects to move more than 350 roles into its digital teams and contact centres.

Up to 65 retail management roles could be disestablished.

IAG spokesman Kevin Hughes said the review reflected growing customer expectations for digital services.

“Covid-19 has accelerated many trends within the insurance industry and in the broader operating environment," he said.

“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 focused 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."

Mr Hughes said a customer care team established temporarily as part of the Covid-19 response would be made a permanent service.

Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker said the announcement was disappointing.

“It is a sign that the effects of the Covid-19 lockdown will continue for some time and there will be a long tail,” Mr Walker said.

“It again reminds us the focus needs to be on jobs and getting the economy up and running again.”


Great. Now customers are responsible for layoffs.