Search This Blog

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Petition to extend the Red Zone 30 April deadline

Recently Red Zoned residents in the Burwood area have launched a petition to have the 30 April deadline extended. The following is from those organising the petition:

Over 80 households in the Burwood red-zone will not have homes ready to move into by the end of April. They have therefore launched a petition to request an extension with the following text.

Many red-zoned residents will not be ready to move out of the red-zone by the end of April 2013 for a variety of reasons for which they carry little responsibility. Most commonly, they have been unable to settle with their insurance companies or the homes they are building are not ready because of delays relating to titles for land, consents, shortage of building materials etc. Forcing them to leave in April has a number of potential negative consequences: the acceptance of unfavourable settlements, increased financial losses including the payment of rent, rental accommodation inferior to their present home; moving twice rather than once, loss of opportunity to relocate gardens, further disruption and stress. Forcing them into an already stressed rental market does not reflect wise decision making, neither from the point of view of those in the red zone nor others competing in the rental market. Nor does adding to the stress of those badly affected by the earthquake reflect the concern for human rights that should be an integral part of a democratic system and makes nonsense of stated concerns for the well-being of Christchurch citizens.

Any red-zone resident wishing to sign this petition or to collect signatures in their own area can contact Ngaire at njehle@ihug.co.nz

.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) provide a “yeah, right” moment

In a media release dated the 11th of December ICNZ have taken the opportunity to reassure us all “ claims that insurers have sought to delay or avoid payments in Christchurch are urban myth”.

A page of superficial and un-researched arguments tell us everything that has been experienced or observed is not delaying tactics – it is actually insurance companies working flat out to sort and settle claims as fast as they can.

For those of you involved with commercial insurance here is some great news, you are an untold success story:

While much focus has been on residential claims, the untold success story is with commercial insurance where more than half of all business insurance claims are now settled.

Tucked in at the very end of the media release are a couple of sentences about why premiums are going up and the new way residential property is going to be insured:

Recent major global catastrophes and historically poor returns on long-term investments needed to meet new catastrophes are reasons why reinsurance costs have forced premiums up. To retain global reinsurance support, insurers will shift from open-ended home replacement polices to fixed sums and as always will continue to ensure policy contracts stand up to audit scrutiny.

They don’t seem to be desperate to alert us to major changes in the industry, do they?

The news release is here.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Earthquake Royal Commission–release of Volumes 5–7 of the Commission’s Report

The Government has released released Volumes 5 to 7 of the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission report.  Copies are available online at the Royal Commission’s website here.

These Volumes cover:

Sunday, December 9, 2012

IAG and Vero go for “sum insured” insurance instead of full replacement

Stuff today reported (here) IAG and Vero have announced they are going down the “sum insured” route to replace all “full replacement” house policies. This is very much a nationwide political issue that has arisen out of Canterbury’s earthquake insurance experiences.

While it is a sensible and potentially lucrative business model for insurers and reinsurers, there are major pitfalls for policy holders and the government. Based on Canterbury experiences it is easy to envisage a not too distant future where practically every major damage or loss claim, no matter what the cause, will now be more open to the practices refined by insurers in Canterbury. At every opportunity, where costs might be reduced, policy valuations and the claims being made are likely to be subjected to insurer-friendly assessments (or reassessments) of both the sum insured and the insurance company’s view of the replacement cost.

At this stage the extent and detail of the risk to policy holders isn’t clear (the new policies aren’t yet available for scrutiny), however a quick first cut of the issues are on the blog, in regard to AA insurance, here. Not mentioned in that blog entry is the issue of who will be the losers of the “sum insured” approach. Two things come to mind.