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In Myall v Tower Insurance Ltd [2019] NZHC 528 the High Court (Dunningham J) considered whether an insured should account for interest to the insurer on a partial claim payment; whether Tower must pay the full replacement value in cash now and any interest payable on the full replacement value fixed by the Court.  Myall insured his house at 81 Ainsley Terrace, Christchurch for a floor area of 650m2.  The house was damaged beyond repair in the earthquakes.  It turned out the house was actually 799m2.  After hearings in the High Court and Court of Appeal the full replacement value was fixed/agreed to be $5,273,021.71.  Tower made interim payments of […]

In Richmond Hill Holdings Ltd v IAG New Zealand Ltd [2019] NZHC 380 the High Court (Lester AJ) refused to enter summary judgment against IAG for cash settlements on 2 properties where the owners claimed that IAG was estopped from resiling from its promises in letters September 2013 that IAG would cash settle based on rebuild costings by a named quantity surveyor.  IAG later said that it would cash settle, but exclude from the cash sum amounts for retaining walls, demolition and professional fees until they were incurred.  The Court decided that IAG had represented that the cash settlement figure would be the rebuild cost without exclusions, however, it was […]

In the puzzling decision of Hood v EQC & anor [2019] NZHC 349 the High Court (Dunningham J) decided that Ms Hood who had been entirely successful with her claim by moving EQC from a repair cost of $10,729 to one of $438,292.63 through Court proceedings could only recover 50% of her costs because theoretically the insurer, IAG, was also around and Ms Hood should have recovered the balance of the costs from it.  This was in circumstances where once EQC paid the cap the insurer immediately agreed to pay the rebuild cost claimed and IAG had for months said that wanted to settle out based on a rebuild.  I do […]

The application of the 6 year limitation period under the Limitation Act(s) to claims arising out of the Canterbury earthquakes has resulted in differing positions by insurers and EQC as to how they will respond to claims.  Some take the view that the 6 year period starts on the date of the property damage; whereas others say that it is not until there is a denial of liability or purported settlement.  In Globe Church Incorporated v Allianz Australia Insurance Ltd & anor [2019] NSWCA 27 the New South Wales Court of Appeal by a 3:2 margin said that the cause of action accrued on the damage to the property.  This […]

The High Court (Davidson J) decision in Emmons Developments New Zealand Ltd v Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co Ltd & anor [2019] NZHC 277 considered whether cracks to a concrete slab were “damage” under a material damage policy; what was required to remediate the cracks, and what the insurers were liable for when repairing insured earthquake damage also affected undamaged property.  The buildings at issue were Rydges and the adjoining carpark.  Each was damaged, but not destroyed in the February 2011 earthquake.  The policy required restoration of the damaged portion of the property to a condition substantially the same as, but not better or more extensive than, its condition when new.  […]