Christchurch Earthquake Insurance

Less than 6 months apart, the earthquakes that shook Christchurch in 2010 and 2011 were some of the most destructive that New Zealand had ever known. Not only did they claim the lives of many citizens, but they also brought devastation to the city and the region of Canterbury.

In addition to buildings collapsing with the tremors, water-saturated layers of sand and silt below ground were turned into sludge which surfaced through the cracks caused by the earthquake. Known as liquefaction, it buried streets, destroyed house foundations and made repairs and restoring the city to its previous state all the more difficult.

In the weeks following the 2011 earthquake, it is estimated that 70,000 people had to leave the city because their homes were inhabitable. An unprecedented number of earthquake insurance claims were subsequently filed with home insurance providers or the Earthquake Commission (EQC).

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Earthquake Insurance Claims Process

So, what more is there to it? Surely, if homes were damaged by the earthquake and insured homeowners open earthquake insurance claims, they will be compensated promptly… Won’t they?

Sadly, it is not always that straightforward. Your insurance company was undoubtedly keen on getting your custom, but it was in the hope that it would never have to pay out, and even when the situation is as clear-cut as in the case of earthquake insurance in Christchurch, its role is to minimise the amount they will have to contribute, depriving insured homeowners of the help they are legally entitled to in order to have their homes repaired and resume a normal life.

The EQC provides the first layer of cover for residential properties in the case of natural disasters, called the EQCover. It is also supposed to act as mediator, but it hasn’t always proved itself to be a powerful ally to individuals facing earthquake insurance issues, leaving them to struggle, in already distressing circumstances, for a compensation that is rightly theirs.

This is when you need a litigation lawyer like Grant Shand, with expertise in Christchurch earthquake insurance issues. With more than 20 years’ experience running cases in Court, Grant currently has the largest number of cases of any law firm in the High Court earthquake list.

Earthquake insurance is a complex field of the law. Having worked for law firms that acted on behalf of insurers in NZ and Australia, Grant can offer invaluable insight and a unique perspective on how to handle Christchurch earthquake insurance claims.

He has been representing numerous individuals whose homes were damaged by the earthquake and its after-effects, and has been protecting their interests against the insurance companies and the EQC when their response was unsatisfactory. His only goal is to get his clients the best possible outcome, whether through negotiation or by going to Court, and he will fight relentlessly on your behalf until he has done so.

If you need legal advice or legal representation on a matter of earthquake insurance claims, please contact Grant Shand today to organise a free consultation, either in our offices or in the convenience of your home.