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Showing posts from January 9, 2011

Mayor Bob Parker's update on the earthquake recovery

Mayor Bob Parker, in an information sheet e-mailed to CCC Recovery eNewsletter subscribers on Friday, provided his update on the earthquake recovery. The topics covered are:
Water (the state of the City's infrastructure) The Boxing Day aftershock Regulatory issues (mainly to do with building consents) Cordons Infrastructure rebuild (will be subject of a separate post) 160 Manchester Street Advocacy for Homeowners (will be subject of a separate post) Rates relief (not many people have applied) Impact from Queensland flood You can download a copy of the current newsletterhere and past newsletters can be foundhere (at the bottom half of the page). .

EQC - Updates

EQC have released two updates associated with recent aftershocks. It is interesting to think the Boxing Day earthquake has resulted in more claims that the Gisborne earthquake of 2007. There is also an update on the flooding in Brisbane and its effect on claims processing.

Update on EQC activity and claims deadlines
If you haven’t made a claim before, or if it is new and separate damage, or if you have had your earlier claim settled, then you will be lodging an entirely new claim. You have three months from 26 December to make a claim.Claims Update
EQC has now received 6,895 claims from the 4.9 magnitude Boxing Day earthquake, easily surpassing those from the previous two big aftershocks and now representing a sizeable event in its own right.
“To put it into perspective, it exceeds the 6,200 claims we received from the last significant earthquake we covered before Canterbury - the Gisborne event of December 2007,”the chief executive of the Earthquake Commission, Ian Simpson, …

Accuracy of EQC assessments with the passage of time.

Many people in this area had their assessments done towards the end of October (quite a few were done on the 26th of October, 11 weeks ago). Since then there have been major aftershocks on the 14th of November and the 26th of December, a number of significant other aftershocks (18 shocks of magnitude 4 or greater since Labour Weekend) and the passage of two and a half months since the assessment.

No doubt EQC rely on claimants to report any additional damage resulting from aftershocks, and many of us have done so. Ideally this information would be fed into the unfinished assessment process, adjustments made, and perhaps another visit arranged. Without feedback from EQC there is no way of knowing if this additional information has been applied to the original assessment.

Overlaying all of this is the effect of the amount of time that has elapsed. Since Labour Day there has been the impact of ground settling, weather (heavy rain and strong winds), and gravity pulling on damag…

Vero insurance and Mainzeal

Back in November Mainzeal posted an announcement regarding their relationship with Vero (and its associated companies) for the purpose of undertaking earthquake reconstruction work. The announcement, which can be found here, is reproduced below.
In partnership with MWH, Mainzeal are VERO’s  preferred management services partner for building reinstatement, to undertake the efficient and effective reconstruction of their Canterbury earthquake claims. This is a significant appointment for Mainzeal. Vero includes the following entities - AA Insurance, AMP General Insurance, ANZ and National Bank is underwritten by Vero, SIS Insurance, together with Vero’s own brand.This represents three to six years work and covers the residential market for claims greater than $100,000 which includes homes that have to be demolished and therefore require total replacement. There are also significant commercial building market claims which will again include total demolition and re-build, plus …

EQC - Brisbane claim's office closed due to flooding.

EQC announced today that the Brisbane office processing earthquake claims has closed, as a precaution, because of the flooding. The announcement reads:
The Earthquake Commission’s contracted claims management centre in Brisbane has been evacuated due to the area’s flooding crisis.“Although the office is located on higher ground on the edge of the city and is not expected to be inundated, we have heeded the advice of the local authorities to evacuate,” the chief operating officer of the Earthquake Commission, Lance Dixon, said today.“Consequently, the office, managed by our contractor Gallagher Basset, now has a restricted capacity to make calls until further notice..

Advocacy help in dealing with EQC, insurance companies and councils - Part 2

In the previous post it was mentioned that CanCERN are suggesting an independent advocacy service as the best approach to handling issues and obstacles that arise for claimants when dealing with EQC and insurance companies. EQC's chief executive Ian Simpson, and Christchurch city mayor Bob Parker, oppose the idea.

CanCERN have identified a significant omission from the overall process as it stands, a mechanism for resolving problems where the major players form part of that problem. As events unfold some claimants are finding themselves increasingly in the role of "victim" through the decisions, indecision, actions or inaction of others more powerful and better resourced than themselves. On their own they invariably do not have the expertise, resources, or energy to bring the problem to a successful resolution.

Over time the number of people in this situation will increase to a significant size ( e.g. if there were a 0.5% or 1 in 200  problem rate that would equate to ov…

Advocacy help in dealing with EQC, insurance companies and councils - Part 1

The front page of this morning's Press has an interesting article on issues relating to EQC, insurance companies and claimants. Basically, when disputes arise between either EQC or an insurance company and a claimant, or involving all three parties, nothing productive happens. Discussions lead nowhere and there is nowhere for claimants to take their problems for assistance in resolving them. The cases of an Avonside and a Dallington couple are described.

CanCERN are quoted as suggesting an independent advocacy service would be the best approach. EQC chief executive Ian Simpson feel this would be unhelpful, being just another organisational layer. Mayor Bob Parker is of the view that another service is not needed. A spokesman for the Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has said an advocacy service was being considered. Tacked on to the end of the article is the sentence: "Claimants can contact The Insurance & Savings Ombudsman".

Fletchers - Project Management Guidelines

The final piece of useful information in the Information Update previously mentioned, is the following statement of Fletchers intentions with regard to how the project will operate.

Overall intentions
The project management team works on the following guidelines:
use existing industry practices and structurelocal hire first, while identified resource pinch points will need to be sourced from elsewhereaccreditation for assurance and competencesteady work flow and prompt payments, for a reasonable return for alla systemised approach, with good work practicesequitable, fair and transparent dealings, and prompt decisionshomeowner empathy and satisfactionIt is hoped that contractors and tradespeople will see themselves as a valuable part of the overall team, helping homeowners recover their asset value.Exactly what that means for us, described here as homeowners and as claimants in another part of the document, is unclear. It is likely that the crux of it all for us will fall on the l…

Fletchers - Three strikes principle

In the Information Update (see the previous two posts) Fletchers also address the issue of contractors who fail to adhere to the rules set as part of their contract with Fletchers.

Adherence to Rules
Contractors who are found to be flouting the above rules will be governed by the "three strikes" principle – a first strike will result in a warning, a second in formal notice to EQC, and a third in public dismissal from the programme.The original document can be foundhere. .