Southern Response ordered to pay up
A Christchurch couple has won a financial victory against government-backed insurer Southern Response.
The company offered Paul and Georgina Rout $443,000 on the basis that their house was repairable rather than a rebuild.
The payout was based on a theoretical repair because the land at Brooklands north of Christchurch is red zoned.
Up until Februrary this year, Southern Response had continued to argue the house was a rebuild before but then switched to claim it was repairable.
High Court Justice Gendall’s ruling explored the complex issues relating to exactly what insurance policies cover.
His final ruling was that Southern Response should pay for a rebuild figure of $673,330 after additions and deductions for various items.
He rejected a belated claim at the court heart hearing by the Routs' lawyer Grant Shand for $1.29 million.
The ruling sets a precedent for the way such calculations will be made in the numerous cases coming before the courts as insurers seek to minimise payouts.
Southern Response is the government-established successor to AMI Insurance.