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Sunday, February 6, 2011

State Insurance: earthquake FAQ - Part 1 (a good read)

State Insurance, part of IAG, have recently placed an earthquake FAQ on their web site.  Someone at State has done a good job in laying out the situation from State's perspective. As always issues arise and these will be covered separately. If you are insured with State this is the document to read. The FAQ is here.

Even if you are not insured with State this is well worth reading, keeping in mind that other insurers will differ on specifics. It will certainly give you some questions to take to your insurer.

The main topic headings are:
  • How we are prioritising claims
    • 1. How are you prioritising who gets rebuilt first?
    • 2. I’m in Zone A (no land damage) and the government is saying repairs can begin now so why hasn’t mine started?
    • 3. Once the EQC has paid, when will you start my rebuild/repair?
  • Questions about the EQC
  • EQC Zone A
  • EQC Zone B
  • EQC Zone C
    • 1.  Can you assess my home now and at least tell me whether you are going to repair it or rebuild it?
    • 2.  I’m in Zone C and trying to get more information on when my land will be remediated and what the sequence will be – where can I get this?
  • Questions about your policy; excess and settlement options
    • 1. Why do I have to pay an excess for EQC and one to you?
    • 2. My home is a total loss - can I cancel my policy?
    • 3. My home is a total loss - why do I have to continue paying premiums on it?
    • 4. What are my settlement options?
  • Questions about your repair/rebuild
    • 1. My house is being rebuilt - do I have to have everything in the same place? (Lawrence's comment: this bit covers redesigning parts of the house)
    • 2. Can I move the position of my house on the site?
    • 3. Can I build a smaller home and get the difference in cash? Could I offset the difference in what it would have cost to build the same size against my mortgage?
    • 4. Can I use my own builder?
    • 5. Why can’t I demolish my house now?
    • 6. Can I build a prefab home on another piece of land I own until my land is remediated? Could I then have my prefab home relocated to another piece of land I own?
    • 7. Will I be able to keep things from my existing house that are being replaced, e.g. carpet, drapes, heritage windows etc?
  • Alternative accommodation allowance
    • 1. What happens when my alternative accommodation allowance runs out?
    • 2. Who pays for the removal costs in and out of my property when it comes time for me to have to move out of the house when it is being rebuilt?
    • 3. If I decide to rent a fully furnished property while my house is being rebuilt (and/or it is the only option I can find), who pays the costs to have my furniture stored?
  • Temporary repairs
    • 1. I need to get urgent repairs done to make my home habitable/secure/watertight – shall I go ahead with this? 
    • 2. I want to make some changes to be able to keep living in the house, rather than in temporary accommodation. For instance, could I install a heat pump so I can live there over winter?
  • Garden maintenance at an uninhabitable home
    • 1. I’m not living at my own property – what do I do about my gardens? Will you pay to have my lawns mowed?
    • 2. My policy has a landscaping allowance – can I use this to get the lawns mowed at my property? 
  • Council rates relief
  • Lodging a claim with EQC for an aftershock
  • Payment of EQC settlement to private insurer for repair/rebuild
    • 1. Why am I being asked to pay my EQC money to you now?
    • 2. What happens if I put my EQC money against my mortgage (or paid off my mortgage) and don’t want to take out another loan to pay it to you right now – can I pay you instalments or in full later?
  • EQC Temporary Housing Suburbs
  • This is a very stressful situation for me and my family – where can I go for help?
  • Is there an independent insurance Ombudsman or advocacy service I can talk to?
  The FAQ can be found here.
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