Red zone insurance responses inconsistent

Christchurch’s red zone residents are calling for an independent Advocacy Commission.

The group wants the commission to act on behalf of residents who are “at the mercy of the insurance companies and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.”

The spokesman for WeCan, the Wider Earthquake Communities Action Network, is Rev Mike Coleman, an articulate, emerging community leader in central Christchurch.

“There is a need to address the imbalance of power between the householder and the big corporates and government agencies,” Mr Coleman said. “We are being taken to the cleaners. It’s time for some transparency, honesty and accountability.”

Mr Coleman and his helpers phoned the major insurance companies to seek responses to various questions.

“It’s evident there are significant differences between companies and between what they say at head office and what they do on the ground.”

The survey highlights a big difference between AMI and the other providers about the disclosure of itemised costings. AMI refuses to disclose these rates and costs and only releases the global figure in offers to red zone residents.

“This makes it almost impossible to challenge these figures, even with an independent quantity surveyor’s assessment. We believe AMI is failing its contractual obligation to act in good faith with its clients in taking this stance,” Mr Coleman said.

The survey also reveals there is no safe way yet to replace ring foundations and re-pile a home in situ with the home jacked up. Yet many insurance costings are not allowing for homes to be lifted, moved and stored while this work is undertaken.

Recent changes to the building guidelines in the different zones mean existing cost schedules are now unlikely to fully account for the cost of compliance.

“It is also clear from the survey that there is yet no agreed means to reconcile big differences between EQC and insurance company assessments of costs.”

“One of our members in the orange zone was verbally given two figures for the repairs to their house – a ‘red zone figure’ and then a ‘green zone figure,’ which was substantially higher.

“We are firmly of the belief insurance offers based on repairs to red zone homes are well under what it will actually cost insurance companies to repair those homes if they were zoned green. This is a deliberate ploy to get householders to accept the CERA offer for their home.” Mr Coleman said.

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7 Comments & Questions

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Surely John Key can arrange for Gerry to tell the insurance companies to pull their heads in. He could also appoint advsiors to represent the people of Christchurch

Otherwise all his agreed payouts on land could be in vain and a waste of time.

It is these situations where Governments help their people from being rorted by big corporates like insurance companies who have made millions from the same cleints over the years to provide insurance for events like this - only to then renege on their commitments.

Show some leadership John and help these people and prove that you are still in touch with the people you represent in parliament.

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The red zone victims are fully justified in alerting the media to their treatment by the insurance industry including EQC. They (the insurance industry) are proving to be scumbags and the red zone complaints are but a small number of the many being stuffed around.

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Wait till we hear the outburst from insured masonry property owners within the restricted access red zone . Most of their indemnity insurance will be soaked up with CERA's outrageous demolition charges.

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The People's Republic of Christchurch wants more money etc. from the rest of NZ, lead by a Red Reverend to help them get it.

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I have been reliably informed that the CCC collect HUGE fees from property developers. Each section a developer releases the CCC gets up to $50,000 for "Administration Fees". This is extraodinary. It must keep some CCC workers on a full wage for the year. Of course this fee is passed onto the purchaser of the section. Now that there is a huge demand for sections, up to 15,000 comming onto the market surely the CCC can reduce these fees by at least 80%. They will still collect their yearly revenue. Surely those in the Red Zone should be entitled to this releif as they are currently being ripped off realistic prices for their land - that is the same size section they have now they cannot buy with what is being paid out.

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I am in this situation and I don't want more money from the people of NZ. I want my insurance company to repair or rebuild my house - ie put it back to how it was prior to earthquakes. I can't stay here on this red zoned land so a quote for repair cannot, in my view, be considered robust when there is no consent to be obtained for re-piling my home.

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Be afraid of anyone calling themselves an Action Network and led by a red Reverend!

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