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Friday, January 18, 2013

Can I keep my house or some items from it? - Southern Response FAQ

Southern Response have added a new FAQ to their lengthening list of FAQs.

The latest FAQ,  Can I keep my house or items from it? (here),  covers the issues involved in ownership of material and items from a property that is beyond economic repair and is to be demolished. It is a complicated situation, and may involve significant costs to determine the value of materials and items you want to remove.

The following is from the FAQ:

Published 18 January 2013

If your house is assessed as being beyond economic repair and you have replacement insurance cover, we will fully compensate you for the loss of the house - by making a cash settlement payment or rebuilding the house as provided by your specific policy.

Our obligation to you is to compensate you for the loss of your house.  Our obligation to our reinsurers (and the government) is to offset our claim costs where we are able to and this is traditionally done through salvage. As part of our settlement we may exercise our right to remove anything of value before completing demolition, effectively reducing many houses to a very basic shell.   In some cases we may also look to relocate the entire house from the existing site.

This means two things when you sign a settlement agreement with us for the replacement of your house:

  • You cannot remove items or elements from the house without our express consent - as we will assess whether we wish to salvage before demolition.  Any such action by you will effect settlement of your claim. 
  • We will actively seek to recover the items or value for anything removed from the house without our written permission.

If you want to retain your house, please discuss this with us before you enter into any agreement with a third party. We actively seek to protect our salvage rights and require confirmation of the habitability and structural integrity of any house that is not demolished and intended for continued occupation.

If you are considering making a request to Southern Response to retain the house, there are a number of steps to be completed.  We can discuss these in more detail with you if you want to consider this option. 

In summary:

  • We need to be clear there is agreement between EQC and Southern Response, and  between you and Southern Response regarding the claim and settlement

   and

  • We require an Arrow report and a structural engineer's report on the property, with all recommended works completed

   and

  • An estimate of salvage value is required, which we independently validate.

You will need to meet the cost of each of these reports, the estimates to arrive at the salvage value and also pay the agreed salvage value.

There are other things for you to consider, relating to your temporary accommodation eligibility, future EQC cover and settlements, house insurance and repayment of any costs we have incurred to date to respond to your request.  We will also require future indemnification from you for any future action regarding the property.

Please contact your Southern Response pod at the earliest possibility if you are considering seeking to retain the house, so we can talk through the requirements with you.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Southern Response – additional temporary accommodation information

Southern Response have further changed their temporary accommodation information to add more detail on how removal costs are agreed and paid for those with Premier or Market Value policies (here).

The earlier post on this topic is here.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

EQC treatment of asbestos meets legislative requirements

EQC today updated their asbestos FAQ with the following:

MBIE (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) were given the opportunity to provide feedback on the EQC/EQR asbestos management strategy. They are satisfied it meets legislative requirements.

The FAQ page is here.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Southern Response - temporary accommodation information

Southern Response have added more information to their website on accommodation allowances (here). The changes are to the section headed “What temporary accommodation costs will Southern Response pay?”
The whole of that section is reproduced below with the new material (as best as I can identify it) highlighted in yellow.

What temporary accommodation costs will Southern Response pay? 

Published 14 January 2013

Southern Response will pay for reasonable accommodation costs for you and your immediate family residing with you. This allowance also covers kennel or cattery fees for your domestic pets.
(Please note that your entitlement depends on the type(s) of policy(ies) you held when the earthquake(s) took place.)
If you have an Advanced Contents Cover policy
Southern Response will pay up to a maximum of $2000 for reasonable storage costs at a storage facility approved by Southern Response. We will continue your insurance cover while your household contents are at the approved storage facility.
Southern Response may also pay reasonable costs towards moving your household contents to the approved storage facility and the cost of returning your household contents to your house (this may also be covered under your house policy.)
And if you choose to put your household contents in a storage facility, you will need to liaise with AMI directly to get further insurance cover for the period your contents are in storage. 
If you have a Premier or Market Value House cover policy and have chosen to rebuild or repair with Southern Response
Southern Response will pay for removal costs under either of these AMI house policies (you will need to provide us with two removal cost quotes.) If a packing cost is included in the removal quotes, we will also cover this. Alternatively, if you wish to claim for costs spent on doing your own packing, we will reimburse actual costs incurred e.g. purchase of boxes and other packing material. 
There is no cover for storage of your household contents under these AMI house policies. If you choose to put your household contents in a storage facility, you will need to liaise with AMI directly to get further insurance cover.
If you elect our Cash Settlement or Buy Another House option, there is no cover for removal costs.  
If you have Standard or Premier Contents cover policy  
You may be eligible for removal cover but it will depend on what kind of AMI house policy you have. If you do not have an AMI house policy, there is no AMI removal cover.
AMI Standard and Premier Contents policies do not cover your contents while they are in storage. Whether you choose to store your household contents in a storage facility or another location of your choice, you need to liaise with AMI directly to get further insurance cover.

Added 16 Jan 2013: there is a small update here.