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Monday, September 5, 2011

CanCERN Q&A with IAG & Hawkins

CanCERN and IAG, along with IAG's project manager Hawkins Construction, have discussed the processes involved for customers of IAG who are faced with over-cap repairs or a rebuild. Other insurance companies that come under the IAG banner are: Lantern, NZI, and State.

The result is a 7 page document on Google Docs (here) outlining the IAG/Hawkins position and responses to some questions. Topic headings in the document are:
  • Project Management Office Process for Making Assessments
  • Disputes Process
  • Insurer Customer Support - Customer Advocacy
  • Communication between the Insurer, the PMO and the Client
  • The Rebuild Planning Process with the PMO
  • The Detailed Project Management Assessment (Scope of Works)
  • Settlement Options
These topics are then followed by a series of questions with answers. In a few instances the answers are uncompromising, and indicate that unless exceptional conditions exist the IAG/Hawkins position cannot be challenged. It is possible that other decisions may be put into this "exceptional circumstances" category (e.g. the use of particular techniques and/or materials) in an effort to streamline processes and increase efficiency.

It is unlikely that such determinations have any legal status and so can be challenged, given enough time, money and energy. So, for now at least, keep the mindset that the customer is always right and consult a lawyer before you agree to, or sign, anything.

Click on the link to see the questions contained in the document.

  • Why does there appear to be a difference in an insurers Scope of Works with some being more specific than others?
  • If a rebuild assessment is more generic, how do you capture the special features in the house, E.g. rimu panelling?
  • Is there a standard costing for things like rimu panelling which is then built onto the price per metre? What if clients do not want to replace that special feature - can they ‘trade’ it for extra floor space, other rooms, etc?
  • Does the PMOs assessment cover all aspects - driveways, fences, etc as well as house? What will not be covered?
  • Does your rebuild repair analysis include both the total repair costs, the costs of the rebuild and how a rebuild is decided as opposed to a repair? If not why not?
  • How are foundations being costed for houses in the Red Zone? (There is a lot of confusion about how a house in the Red Zone can be deemed a repair. Please give as much detail as you can about how this can happen.)
  • Will PMs have cases in the same area with a mind to co-ordinating repairs when land is a factor and rebuilds?
  • How will repairs and rebuilds be prioritised?
  • Can people get their own costings done and will they be accepted?
  • How can we trust the Insurer and PMO costings?
  • How are you deciding the priority areas for ongoing assessments throughout Canterbury?
  • Will things be different in the hill areas?
  • Will the costings take into account the fact that people may not be able to complete work for years yet?
  • What happens if there is another earthquake during the rebuild - who covers the insurance?
  • Can people buy houses and swap (reassign) settlements if for example a Green Zone person wants a Red Zone house so they can get out?
  • How is the figure worked out if you want to buy an existing house?
  • Can people choose to take Option 2 and negotiate with the insurer but choose Option 1 if that works out to be a better offer and what if it is outside of the 9 month timeframe?
  • If you are a rebuild in the hill suburbs, will your house be designed by an engineer rather than having to have a group home build that is not designed for the hill?
  • What is your opinion on Eurotech and will the client have the option whether or not to use it?
  • At what point would the PMO bring in other experts (geotech and structural engineers) and at whose expense?
  • What work is currently being carried out in the Red Zone? Orange Zone? White Zone? Green Zone? West of Merivale? East of Merivale?
  • What is your expected timeline for finishing assessments of all clients?
  • Are you insuring existing clients and/or houses with existing cover when people move/rebuild?
The document is here.
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