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Monday, May 13, 2013

Over-cap and got creeping mould or weather-tightness issues?

Australian insurance news website InsuranceNEWS reports the CEO of the Insurance Council of New Zealand as encouraging all owners of over-cap earthquake damaged homes to contact their insurers if there are problems with mould. This applies only to homes that are over-cap, as EQC and Fletcher/EQR are responsible for under-cap properties.

Some extracts from the article (full article here).

Canterbury homeowners should contact their insurers if they are affected by creeping mould from liquefied soil caused by the earthquakes, according to the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ).

“While the removal of liquefied soil is a land issue, and therefore the responsibility of the Earthquake Commission, insurers will look at removing soil for ‘over-cap’ homes and settle with [the commission] afterwards,” ICNZ CEO Tim Grafton said.

Temporary weatherproofing repairs can be carried out without affecting the full repair waiting list.

“I’m aware some people are worried about seeking help because they think if they get support like this they will drop down the rebuild queue,” Mr Grafton said.

“That is not true. The key vulnerability factors that prioritise rebuilds and repairs remain in place.”

ICNZ have an item on their website (here) providing more information on support for those who are in damaged homes and considered vulnerable.  If you think are in the vulnerable category (e.g. age, children in the household, health issues, terminal illness, dependency on a carer, financial circumstances), or you have weather-tightness issues it is worth checking it out.

The item reads:

Insurers Support for Christchurch Vulnerable

All insurers use an index to prioritise residents for support based around factors such as age, children in the household, health issues, terminal illness, dependency on a carer and financial circumstances. If residents feel they are in a vulnerable situation, they should advise their insurer of their circumstances if their property is over cap. If people find things have changed since they advised their insurers of their circumstances, then they should let their insurer know.  Often, if insurers learn of information they were not previously aware of there is capacity to accommodate people earlier in their work programmes.

If people have weather-tightness issues caused by earthquake damage, insurers are working hard to provide flexible solutions. For instance, temporary repairs can be made with the costs included as part of the final repair programme or offset against final settlements or accommodation allowance.  This means people don’t have to wait if something can be fixed to get them through the winter.

“I’m aware that some people are worried about seeking help because they think if they get support like this that they will drop down the rebuild queue.  That is not true.  The key vulnerability factors that prioritise rebuilds and repairs remain in place,” Mr Grafton said. “Another problem people are identifying is creeping mould linked to liquefied soil beneath their homes.  While the removal of liquefied soil is a land issue and therefore the responsibility of the Earthquake Commission, insurers will look at removing soil for over-cap homes and settle with EQC afterwards,” he said. “I am also aware of one insurer that has appointed community support advisors who work with people who are vulnerable and need emotional support.  This work is carried on outside the normal claims management area,” he said. “These initiatives have been in place for many months and we encourage people to make use of them if they are in need,” he said.

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