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Insurers want to do disaster assessment

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 9/08/2016

The body representing New Zealand insurance companies is calling for insurers to do all the assessments following natural disasters so people can be paid out sooner.

The Insurance Council on Wednesday said the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 had cost private insurers more than $18 billion to settle, with more than $8b of that for domestic claims.

Five years on from the deadly and destructive February 22 quake, 93 per cent of domestic claims and 94 per cent of commercial claims have been settled, according to chief executive Tim Grafton and almost all of those - 85 per cent - have been resolved with repairs underway.

Of those still waiting on claims to be settled, 340 are waiting on an offer from their insurers while 453 are still considering an offer made to them.

To June 30 the Earthquake Commission, which pays claims up to $100,000 for homes and $20,000 for contents, had completed repairs on more than 67,600 homes.

But Mr Grafton lamented that over the last 12 months it transferred 1620 properties to private insurers.

"It is extremely frustrating for homeowners and insurers to be receiving so many new property claims nearly six years after the events which stresses the need for changes in the future," Mr Grafton said.

"Insurers should do all assessments in future for natural disasters so that the most damaged properties can be rebuilt or repaired much sooner."

The capital repair bill for the Canterbury earthquakes has been put as high as $50b and many Christchurch property owners have been wrangling with EQC and their insurers over their cover.


* 140,924 domestic claims worth $8.6b

* 26,198 commercial claims worth $9.75b

* 167,122 total claims worth $18.35b

* 93 per cent of domestic claims settled

* 94 per cent of commercial claims settled

* 85 per cent of claims resolved

* 11 per cent of claims in resolution

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