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ABC Australia – “Lateline” on Christchurch Earthquake and delays

Here is a link to the ABC Australia show “Lateline” and its piece from 16 February 2016 about the delays in the rebuilding of Christchurch.  It contains interesting comments about IAG and its performance.  Below are 2 quotes from IAG that are interesting.

 

RENEE WALKER, IAG: We work with our customers. It’s always a negotiation, so they’ll be presented with a cash settlement offer and then is a negotiation. We’re not in the practice of forcing cash settlement. So there is always a conversation.

RENEE WALKER: We think and we maintain that we are settling our claims at a reasonable rate. And we would like to work with our clients to make sure that we get an outcome that’s fair for both parties.

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red zone deadline

A message from CERA

Offer Expiry Date – Deadline Approaching

We take this opportunity to once again remind practitioners of the upcoming expiry date of the Crown offer for all properties in the flat land red zones (except South New Brighton and Southshore). Please note that the expiry date applies to all property categories – namely insured residential, uninsured improved properties, vacant land, WDC leasehold properties and commercial properties.

Owners of these properties have until 31 March 2013, whichever comes first, to accept the Crown offer by returning a signed sale and purchase agreement to the Crown Settlement Agent. Given that 31 March falls on Easter Sunday CERA will accepted signed agreements up until 5pm on the 2nd of April 2013. No extensions to this date will be given.

Property owners who have yet to return their consent forms to CERA need to do so immediately to allow sufficient time for CERA to send out a Crown offer letter and to consider the offer and consult with their lawyer and bank before the offer expires. In this regard please note the requirement to submit a signed Sale and Purchase Agreement. The return of a consent form alone will not suffice.

Settlements Database

In light of the offer expiry and the level of urgency and response time required to deal with redzonehelp requests the following measures have been put in place for the settlements database:

The redzonehelp staff capacity has been increased.

  • Helpdesk staff are aware of the urgency for dealing with requests and will deal with requests accordingly.
  • To expedite redzonehelp requests please ensure that;

All requests are emailed to redzonehelp@tonkin.co.nz. Verbalphone request need to be confirmed by email so email should the primary means of communication.
Any request to change or update QPID details needs to be first ratified by the acting crown settlement agent.

For further information, please contact info@cera.govt.nz or 0800 7464 2372.

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Campbell Live – insurance

This week Campbell live has run 2 stories on insurance cases in Christchurch where I act for the homeowners.  Below are links.  Next week I expect it to run another story.

 

http://www.3news.co.nz/Legal-challenge-to-Christchurch-insurer-first-of-its-kind/tabid/367/articleID/284988/Default.aspx#comments_disp

 

http://www.3news.co.nz/Red-zone-residents-blast-unrealistic-insurance-offer/tabid/367/articleID/284843/Default.aspx

 

 

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Insurance cases

Two articles in the Press recently referred to insurance cases in the courts arising out of the earthquakes.  In the 1st article on 9 January 2013 it was suggested that earthquake cases would clog up the Christchurch court(s) for the next 5 to 7 years.  That is a pessimistic view.  The District Court and High Court are disposing of earthquake related cases (mainly against insurance companies) very quickly.  The Press refers to the O’Loughlin case against Tower Insurance.  That case was filed on 31 October 2012.  It has a 5 day trial commencing 4 March 2013.  There is also a reference to litigation being expensive and a last resort.  Insureds will find that litigation is quick and inexpensive and it ought to be an early step in dealing with an insurance company.  The 2nd article on 12 January 2013 suggests that a Court decision adverse to insurance companies in upcoming red zone cases could result in hundreds of already settled claims being reopened.  I would find that highly unlikely.

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Westpac/Lumley now offer insurance

Press Release from Westpac

Westpac has broken Christchurch’s insurance deadlock with policies for new construction and full replacement home and contents policies.

The lack of available insurance has left hundreds in limbo and unable to get on with rebuilding their lives after the earthquakes. To overcome that, Westpac and partner, Lumley Insurance, has secured international reinsurance backing. Westpac hopes, by being the first major financial institution in New Zealand to do so, it will help open up the market.

Westpac Managing Director Private, Wealth and Insurance, Simon Power, said customer feedback was the driver in persevering to put the ‘Canterbury New Build Pac’ together.

“We have listened to the frustration and anguish many of our customers have experienced through the lack of available insurance to build a new home and have been determined to find a practical solution,” Mr Power said.

“Now, not only do we hope this helps people move on but it also goes some way to opening up the market.

“Dealing with the issues that have arisen from the earthquakes has required thinking outside the square and what we’ve done here is create an end to end solution so people can get out of no man’s land and get on with their lives with confidence.”

The ‘Canterbury New Build Pac’ combines a Westpac Home Loan, transactional account and Contract works and Home cover and is for new and existing Westpac customers who are ready to start on residential builds or purchase new residential builds in Canterbury, and have all appropriate consents but have not progressed due to being unable to secure insurance cover.

Contract works cover, which is included in the Pac, is for a maximum period of 12 months and includes protection from natural disasters and earthquakes.

Home cover will be on a ‘sum insured’ basis meaning customers insure for full replacement, up to the specified value. Sum insured is common overseas and is expected to become the norm here after the earthquakes changed the country’s risk profile in the reinsurance market.

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FACT BOX
• Limited availability
• For new and existing Westpac customers
• For new Residential builds only, not for rebuilds
• Special terms, conditions and pricing will apply
• Each application will be individually underwritten and subject to acceptance and approval

More information here:

http://www.westpac.co.nz/insurance/canterbury-new-build-pac/

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TC3 land

Insureds that own TC3 land ought not postpone taking action against their insurer. There are plenty of experts able to provide assistance with formulating remedial woork necessary to get building consent on TC3 land. I recommend insureds take action now against their insurers to recover proper compensation