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Saturday, March 3, 2012

EQC e-Newsletter for March: claims settlement and Green Zone TC3 information

EQC's March e-Newsletter (here) contains:
  • new information on claims settlement
  • information on TC3 geotechnical assessments
  • a White Zone update
  • statistics on the number of full repairs done
The information on claims settlement is brief and contains a link to EQC's claim settlement page on their website (here).

The topic headings on the claims settlement page are shown below. Some of the answers are a bit dubious, and will require further work. The most obvious case relates to question 7, where EQC is of the view that specific damage cannot be allocated to a particular event.
  1. Why is the settlement of building and land claims from Canterbury such a big task?
  2. So what is so complex about multi-event claims?
  3. What is apportionment?
  4. Why does EQC need to apportion the damage where it occurred over multiple events?
  5. How does apportionment affect my claims?
  6. How does EQC know which events caused what damage, if an assessment was not done after each event?
  7. What do I do if I don’t agree with how EQC has apportioned damage?
  8. What does the court ruling have to do with this?
  9. How will the High Court’s declaratory judgment affect my claim?
  10. How long are claims taking to process under this new process?
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Friday, March 2, 2012

Christ Church Cathedral - demolition update

Anglican Bishop Victoria Matthews has released a media statement on what is intended to be done to the Cathedral. It will be deconstructed to a level of 2 to 3 metres, using great care and avoiding heavy equipment.

The Bishop's media statement is here. It concludes with a Q&A section covering the following issues:
  • What was the decision making process?
  • Why is this decision happening now?
  • How long will the process take?
  • What is the financial situation?
  • What is happening with donations for the Cathedral?
  • Why is the Diocese spending money doing this work on the Cathedral?
  • What other buildings has the Diocese also been dealing with in this same time period?
  • What has been saved from the Cathedral already?
  • What are you hoping to save from the cathedral?
  • What of the Miyamoto proposal?
  • Why has no international expertise been sought?
  • What does “controlled demolition” actually mean?
  • When will the public be allowed access to the site?
  • Are there any plans to build a new Cathedral on the same site?
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Thursday, March 1, 2012

EQC - addition to FAQ on deciding how to settle a claim.

EQC have added the following Q&A to their FAQ (here).

This is an important item because it contains an "opt-out" for EQC or Fletchers where they think there are issues unrelated to earthquake damage. These issues can arise from pre-existing damage (water damage in a "leaky home", wear and tear) and pre-existing construction defects (e.g. not up to code).
When will EQC make its final decision on how to settle my claim?
If your claim appears to be suitable for managed repair by Fletcher EQR, EQC will refer your claim to Fletcher EQR.  If not, your claim will be cash settled.
But a referral to Fletcher EQR is not a final decision by EQC to repair your property.  Further information may come to light during the Fletcher EQR process resulting in EQC deciding to cash settle part or all of your claim (for example pre-existing construction defects or ’leaky home’ issues) that are not insured under the Earthquake Commission Act 1993 (EQC Act).
EQC will only make a final decision to reinstate any part of a property with damage or issues not covered under the EQC Act when it commences or continues to repair the relevant part of the property with full knowledge of the particular damage or issues not insured under the EQC Act.
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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Vero insurance - changes to their temporary accommodation policy

In the February Canterbury Earthquake Stakeholder Update Vero have announced a change to the timing applying to their temporary accommodation benefits.

Those who are under the EQC cap can still receive their temporary accommodation allowance if their home is uninhabitable.

From the update:
Customers with contents insurance with Vero are entitled to a temporary accommodation allowance for a set period of time or up to a specified dollar amount. This is usually 12 months or $25,000 depending on the type of policy chosen.
To help affected Vero customers during these difficult times, we have decided to remove the 12-month time limitation that applies to the temporary accommodation benefit in their domestic policies.
Customers will also be able to use the benefit over different times and for split time periods provided the costs do not exceed the policy limit.
Some of our customers who have homes that are totally uninhabitable now are using the allowance but many others are living in significantly damaged homes and "saving" the benefit until they need to vacate their home for repairs or rebuilding.
In addition, Vero customers with a claim that is under the EQC cap will still be entitled to receive their temporary accommodation allowance under their contents policy if their home is uninhabitable as a result of the damage.
The Stakeholder Update doesn't seem to be online yet, but may be available here shortly.
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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why the Avonside Orange Zone went Red

In this morning's Press there is an article headlined Homes could have been saved (here) and starts off:
More than 500 quake-hit properties which could have been affordably fixed were instead written off, Cabinet papers say.
Documents released by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) show hundreds of properties in Brooklands, Avonside and Wainoni may have been "cost-effective" to repair.
The article is, shall we say, light on analysis and not particularly accurate. In particular the cost of remediation is wrong. The writer states:
The papers also estimated 133 Avonside properties around Cowlishaw St and Retreat Rd would cost from $4.8m and $6.7m to fix, less than half what the properties would eventually be worth.
which is a load on nonsense. The dollar figures in the Ministerial Report are the net cost of remediating the land, and these amounts are an under-estimate of the total expense because significant associated costs are omitted. Consequently the overall cost would potentially be in excess of the land value.

Had the writer read the remediation criteria agreed by Cabinet, he would have understood that money was not the only factor. People count too, and the criteria include timeliness, and adverse impacts on health and well-being.

For a better analysis on why the Avonside Orange Zone went Red click the link to read more.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fun day at Holy Trinity - 18th of March

A bit of early warning. Holy Trinity Avonside is organising a fun day for Sunday, March the 18th. Running from 2-4 pm everything is free and aimed at being just fun. Check out the flyer below.