Quake progress lauded Two-thirds of the residential claims arising from Canterbury’s earthquakes have been settled, as well as 80% of the commercial claims, the Insurance Council of New Zealand says. It says insurers have now paid out more than $12 billion to people affected by the quakes. At the end of June 2014, private insurers had paid out $7.7 billion in commercial claims and $4.4 billion in settling residential claims. “Insurers are currently paying out $11 million a day to get Cantabrians back into their homes and enabling businesses to move forward,” ICNZ chief executive Tim Grafton said. He said there was an increase in the speed of progress over the past quarter, with 1517 over cap claims settled, double the previous quarter. “That’s 17 claims settled daily and insurers handing over 43 repaired or newly-built homes weekly to their customers. The settlement of Canterbury earthquake residential insurance claims has definitely reached a turning point with 50% of all over cap claims now fully settled
and 72% of the out of scope claims completed,” he said. At the end of the June quarter, insurers had 22,739 dwelling claims over the $100,000 plus GST EQC cap, according to the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) survey, 284 more than the March quarter. “Private insurers have reached the halfway mark by fully settling 11,392 over cap dwelling claims, including the completion of 2203 rebuilds and major repairs,” Grafton said. Of the 11,347 over cap claims remaining, 8110 insurer-managed rebuilds and repairs are in progress: 1611 (20%) are under construction, 442 (5%) in consenting with a local authority or government agency and 1089 (13%) under contract but not yet started. The balance of insurer-managed major repairs and rebuilds are in pre-design (scoping or collection of technical data), detailed design (with a designer/architect) or pricing (tender or pricing for construction). Of the 11,347 over cap claims still to be
fully settled, 1218 are customers still undecided about their settlement offer and 1169 have yet to be given a settlement option. In the previous quarter there were 2876 in these categories “The 20% drop in the number of customers undecided or with no offers represents the substantial effort by insurers to progress claims that may have previously been stuck,” Grafton said. “The success of the Residential Advisory Service in providing independent advice and the role community groups play in supporting residents, particularly those in vulnerable circumstances, has undoubtedly contributed to moving claims forward.” The CERA survey showed 9189 claims were cash settled with another 850 awaiting their agreed cash settlement to be finalised. “In spite of insurers receiving over 700 newly over cap dwelling claims from EQC this year, insurers are still confident that almost all major repairs and rebuilds will be completed by the end of 2016,” Grafton said.