Too much criticism of Christchurch rebuild, says Vero

Vero says it is finalising the schedule for the repair and rebuilding of its Christchurch customers' properties.

The head of the Vero Insurance earthquake response, Jimmy Higgins, acknowledges consumer frustrations at lack of start dates for repairs and rebuilding.

Mr Higgins was speaking at the Insurance Brokers Association of New Zealand Conference in Auckland today, and a copy of his speech was sent to journalists.

"There has been significant and creditable progress...,” he says.

"The area that could be improved is the ability of the key participants including insurers, CERA, the EQC, the government and the Christchurch City Council to fully co-operate in the recovery effort.

"There is still far too much public criticism by these groups about the performance or shortcomings of others involved in the recovery.

"That is making the task of clear and consistent communication about the true situation in Christchurch more difficult than it should be," he says.

Vero plans to have a reinstatement timeframe sent to every customer by the end of September.

The timeframes will range from a start date this year through to a start in 2014, and possibly the beginning of 2015.

“We will make every effort to reduce the timeframes of our customers who have the latest start dates.

“Disasters typically work in three-year cycles. The first year is characterised by customer, community and government criticism of the pace of the recovery, including insurer responses.

“The second year has less overt conflict and focuses on issues resolution and rebuilding.

"The need for collective rather than polarised positions amongst participants such as insurers, politicians, government agencies, local government and community groups begins to be more widely understood and accepted.

“The third year is mostly focused on claims completion, with the contentious issues being scheduling and quality of work.

“What this tells us is that soon we will reach the point in Christchurch where insurers, CERA, EQC, Government and others will understand the benefit of mutual respect and cooperation,” he says.

The new guidelines covering TC1, TC2 and TC3 areas were other examples of factors that had slowed the pace of recovery. There are about 30,000 TC3 sites in Christchurch.

The complexity of the TC3 situation debunks consistent myths, Mr Higgins told brokers.

“The first is that insurers have had two years to get moving on claims. That is simply not true in the case of TC3, one of the most contentious areas of the Christchurch recovery.

“The second myth is that there can be quick fixes or ways to speed up the reinstatement process.”

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A brokers conference. I'll bet there is a bit of 'troughing' it and the old expense accounts are getting a hiding, meanwhile Vero and other companies customers are suffering the usual procrastination and delay game so evident by all associated. Frankly it must be unnerving for those in this trade to now have to wear the mantle of scumbags that used to be held by the used car and real estate participants. So Vero dont even plan to resolve or start on some matters till 2015. About time the entire lot of them starting with EQC should have some heat put on them by the government. How about IRD send in some teams of auditors for the duration of the payout delays for the closest scrutiny any business has ever had..line by line.


One of the few positive outcomes of this whole disaster will be that those outside the area will be able to better understand their risk,policies and which companies were best at providing solutions.

I have been asked by numerous parties,both household and businesses outside the area who they should and should not be dealing with going forward and my views of the respective insurance institutions.

The public will eventually have a greater understanding of insurance issues and whom the baddies are. I will ensure i do my part in educating them as should other consumers who have been caught up in this debacle.


Good on you !
Unfortunately the Insurers are in reality a cartel with layers of parasites clipping the ticket for each pretending to be independant brokers. Too many victims have found the insurance, including EQC, to be an expensive load of hot air when it comes to any claim. First instance is a bit of clarity as to commissions and who is underwriting who. Time for a few ballsy journalists to start naming names and exposing the bad ones to match the names we are all talking about. As their reputations suffer I predict a massive increase in advertising as to how wonderful they want us to think they are.


go to survey


Scumbags is too good of a word to use for insurers in Canterbury. My neighbours are with Vero Insurance and they have been paying a mortgage on a house they can't live in - while renting. Their house appears to be a repair, however, I've just heard that Vero believe that it can be fixed ... yeah right. As for my fine insurers - STATE INSURANCE - they still owe me over $70K for my contents payout from Feb 2011 and don't even get me talking about my house. It's also a rebuild and that has taken a year to get to this point. At this rate, my estate will be dealing with my insurance payouts. It is no wonder that there is a large protest march being organised for September 1st - insurers should hang their heads in shame.


While obviously a bit self-serving, the gist of it is, sadly, largely true. Far and away the biggest problem creators are EQC and CERA. Not for every individual, but taken overall, by a country mile.


My question is WHY has it taken so long for the key parties to build a consensus / unity of purpose and manage this with some semblance of collaboration and cooperation instead of each pointing the finger at others? Those suffering in Christchurch do not deserve to be the victims of the authorities, insurance companies and others playing the blame game!


But does VERO know its number of "cases"? I think not. EQC is holding onto cases where I believe it is questionable that they are under $100,000. Insurance company clients will be talking to their companies about these "under" cases right now - believing they are quite possibly not "under" at all. But EQC will not 'talk to' the insurance company until it (EQC) decides the case is "over cap". (Apparently EQC does not necessarily systematically read any insurance assessor's results that you pass them, whose own details suggest EQC's own Scope of Works details are wrong, such as to foundational assessment in particular.) Perhaps these cases are mainly in TC3. EQC often emphasises TC3 means less than it seems if there is no foundation damage. Then EQC ignores measurement data on foundations (made with proper equipment, ordered by insurance companies, done by subcontractors, eg, Mainzeal) that suggests there is significant damage, and has gone ahead and made an "under" decision.
Your insurance company can apply for what EQC calls a 'joint review' or similar, and that your company might call something else (like "EQC discrepancy proceedings"). However, your insurance company has to re-enlist the reports fromt the subcontractors so the proceedings must move by a series of steps, the time-frame for which does not seem to be under control.


I see that 3 parties dislike my post- i shudder to wonder what they find distasteful as its merely a summary of facts and possible solutions which have positive outcomes for all Kiwi's.


Before you (Vero Insurance - what insurance?) start making any comments like "too much criticism of Christchurch rebuild " Vero Insurance says; how about you (Vero) getting rid of the huge amount of wax in your Corporations ears so you can hear the criticism of the citizens of CHCH about you just ignoring us with your pay outs! I'll spell it out to you differently PAY UP FIRST, THAN START CRITICIZING!!! WHY HAVE INSURANCE WHEN YOU ONLY COLLECT PREMIUMS BUT DON'T PAY OUT FAIR CLAIMS? WE SHOULD CRITICIZE YOU, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND, YOU IDIOTS!!!


the situation is both flabberghasting and disgraceful.Everything I hear re my claim is through the media not the insurer and the only info I get from my insurer VERO is my premium due letter, that always comes in a timely manner and has always been paid so.
TWO YEARS and not a penny has been paid to me, yet VERO agree that my house is a rebuild. I dont want your rebuild in 5 years just pay me what you owe me so I can get my life and the lives of my family off hold! in my opinion and in the opinion of a growing number of your customers
VERO you are proving yourselves as disreputabte scumbags


Bloody ridiculous! Take responsibility Vero for your own short coming and dont blame others.
Are we expected to wait until 2015? 5 years since Sept 2010 - are you serious!


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