NZ Earthquake and insurance commission meet claimants

As the deadline for filing Kaikoura quake claims looms, Marlborough residents whose properties were impacted by the November 14 earthquake have expressed their insurance concerns at a public meeting held in Ward.

Residents were assured by representatives from the Earthquake Commission (EQC), Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ), and engineering firm Tonkin and Taylor that lessons had been learned from the 2011 Canterbury quake as they responded to their insurance woes.

Residents were given the chance to privately ask their questions to insurance companies IAG, Vero, Tower, and FMG.

One resident, Maurice Haakma whose buildings suffered non-structural damage due to the quake, told The Marlborough Express he found the meeting and the chance to speak with his insurer very helpful.

Another resident, Kerry Snell, was able to relay to his insurer his difficulties with his claim.

“I’ve had a bill show up for an engineer that hasn’t even been. It’s quite ridiculous, really. It’s the sort of thing I don’t really need,” he said, frustrated that he was not able to get a straight answer from his insurer about what to do with his claim.

Terry Jordan, ICNZ GM, said the post-Canterbury quake experience, where they saw a duplication of claims and competition for resources, has led them to use a faster process to assess and resolve claims and which involves only one assessor per property this time around.

ICNZ has also announced that business claims have reached over $900 million. Most business losses have been recorded in the Wellington region at 65%, followed by Upper South Island at 25%, and Canterbury at 8%. The remaining 2% were from other North Island claims.