Showing posts from January 16, 2011

EQC - Setting up Hubs and Progress on Scoping of Work

EQC, in their 21 January EQC Claims Info update have provided a progress report on the setting up of Hubs, and the state of each Hub. There is also a progress report on the scoping of repairs, repairs being carried out and the accreditation of contractors.
$10k–$100k repairs by PMO updateThe Project Management Office, run by Fletcher Construction as agent for EQC, is setting up two hubs per month up to the end of April 2011. This will take the number of geographical hubs to 12 at that point.The hubs are basically site offices for the repair work in that area. Those established so far are Halswell, Rolleston, Kaiapoi, Fendalton, and Rangiora. Spreydon/Heathcote and Hagley/Ferrymead are being established at present. These will be followed by Malvern/Ellesmere/Springs, Banks Peninsula, Burwood/Pegasus, and Shirley/Papanui.The number of homes being repaired is now beginning to increase as the project becomes established. By the end of January about 350 homes will be at the point…

EQC - Chimney damage programme

EQC, in their 21 January EQC Claims Info update have said they are accelerating the chimney replacement programme:
Chimney damage programmeWe are currently accelerating chimney damage assessments with the goal of having as many as possible repaired or replaced before winter. EQC is doing the assessments for this with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) and Fletcher Construction coordinating the installation of clean heating systems and associated repairs.The chimney programme gives homeowners with significant or major chimney damage the option of replacing their open fire with a choice of an efficient, clean heating system such as a log burner, gas fire, wood pellet burner or heat pump.EQC has received over 30,000 claims for chimney and fireplace damage and assessments have been prioritised for these claims. If you haven’t already, you should expect to see an EQC assessor in the next month or so.Of the 30,000, we have assessed around 16,000 and around 4,00…

Fletchers - Repair process and the assessment sheet we signed.

On it's web page covering the repair process Fletchers describe the process from initial assessment to completion and sign-off in six steps (seehere.)

The first step is described as:
1. EQC staff visit each property reported as having sustained earthquake damage. An initial assessment is carried out and agreed with the homeowner, a descriptive list of the damage is recorded and a claim file is established. After processing by EQC, the claim is issued to EQR. The second sentence seems to state that at the initial assessment, there was agreement with the homeowner about the assessment. 
To the best of my knowledge, from the discussions we have had, none of us had the assessment explained and that the piece of paper we signed was only to the effect that we acknowledged that an assessment had been carried out.
Can anyone recall a different explanation as to why the assessment cover sheet was signed? .

Fletchers update

Fletchers have made three important additions to their EQC - Helping the recovery in Canterbury website at

The first is a web page is called About EQR which explains:
About EQR (the EQC's Earthquake Recovery - EQR - project run by Fletchers)What EQR will do for homeownersThe HUBs (community based offices set up to manage the rebuild process in different parts of Canterbury and Christchurch).That page can be found here.

The second is Repair process and covers:
An outline of the process from the initial EQC visit until the completion of the repairs.What work Fletchers will undertake to create and agree with claimants the scope of repairs and any associated aspectsManaging the repairsThe use of accredited contractorsAn interesting point arises from this page, so a separate blog entry will be done to cover it.  The repairs page can be foundhere.

The last one is a Frequently Asked Questions page. As there is a lot of interesting information there will be a separate…

Tower Insurance

Tower Insurance have an earthquake page that outlines what is covered by Tower policies, and what is covered by EQC. The information is now quite old as the page was last updated on the 8th of September. The page can be found here.

Their website is not as useful as it might be. There is no information regarding who will be doing Tower rebuilds and, as at today's date, at the bottom of the home page is a notice that the opportunity to lodge a claim with EQC has closed. The notice does seem a bit short on information, certainly lacks any appreciation of the large aftershocks of October, November and December, and has the potential to cause someone to mistakenly give up on lodging a claim.

EQC - January 20 earthquakes will be treated as a new event for claims purposes.

EQC has announced that today's earthquakes will be treated as a new event for claim purposes.  Their news release is availablehere.

Gerry Brownlee - EQC statistics; and a new vocation in the footwear industry?

The Honourable Gerry Brownlee yesterday welcomed the news EQC was halfway through the assessment of claims. He issued a press release that, amongst other things, had this to say:
Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has welcomed today's news the Earthquake Commission is now more than halfway through assessments of claims lodged after the Canterbury earthquake.and this: Today, EQC passed the halfway mark and has now assessed more than 84,500 properties. It says it is on track to have completed assessments for all of the claims it has received to date by 31 March 2011.followed by this: EQC says it has only received about 95 requests from claimants for a reassessment because they disagreed with their first assessment, which is a relatively small number given the scale of this event. The press release can be found here.

No doubt they have reached a halfway point, but the halfway point of what?

Lets look at some numbers: as at the 14th of January (latest date for which…

CCC - Floor and Foundation Design Standards for earthquake damaged buildings

CCC today set up a new web page to provide information regarding floor and foundation design as it may apply to your property (i.e. already damaged land, or land that may experience liquifaction in the future). Much of the content is based on the Department of Building and Housing's publication Guidance on house repairs and reconstruction following the Canterbury earthquake which can be found here. The CCC web page is here.

The web page is in a question and answer format covering the following questions:
What are these Floor and Foundation Design Standards?Where can I find these generic building foundation and floor design standards?How do I know whether I need a special engineered design for my house’s floor and/or foundation?Why has the Government provided these generic foundation and floor designs?What can happen to houses built on earth that has experienced liquefaction?How do these new ‘off-the-shelf’ floor and foundation design plans differ from other plans?Do the …

AMI Insurance - claims information

AMI are using Arrow International to manage their repair and rebuild work.

On the AMI website is a page of earthquake related questions and answers, and a one sheet pamphlet describing in outline the AMI process for earthquake claims.

The questions and answers page (which is not as informative as that provided by AA Insurance mentioned in the previous post) ishere  and the pamphlet can be foundhere.

AA Insurance - information for claimants (good stuff for others too)

AA Insurance have appointed MWH Mainzeal to conduct their repairs and rebuilding programme.

AA have a very full and informative questions and answers page for their policy holders. Even those of us who do not have an AA policy are likely to find the material interesting, and there may be points worth raising with our own insurers.

The following is a list of some of the headings and questions covered by AA. A few of the answers are short on specifics but are a start. The page can be foundhere.

There are two key options for you to consider:
1.    repair/rebuild your existing home, or
2.    request a cash settlement.Can I rebuild somewhere else?What if my land needs to be fixed first?Can I make temporary repairs to my house?Cash settlementsWhen do I have to decide what I want to do?   Who will be repairing/rebuilding my home?What will happen to the money I received from the EQC?Will my house need to be demolished/rebuilt from scratch?Can we use our own builder to conduct the r…

Free Business Workshops

The Canterbury Employer's Chamber of Commerce (CECC) are offering a range of workshops to help Canterbury businesses after the earthquake and prepare them for future growth. Funding for the workshops is provided by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

Not sure how useful they will be, but you can check them out here.The first courses start in early February.

Insurance companies - complaints and dispute resolution procedures

Insurance companies that are members of the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) have agreed to a standard procedure for handling complaints. Most insurance companies are members of ICNZ including AA, AMI, AMP, State, Tower, Vero, and their subsidiary companies. A full list of member companies can be found here.

The ICNZ's advice to consumers on resolving disputes can be foundhere. The information below is extracted from the on-line brochure Fair Insurance Code which can be downloaded fromhere. Please keep in mind that both parties have rights and obligations, and what is described below represents only part of the overall picture. To understand what obligations are placed on consumers/claimants please read the whole brochure.

Complaint Procedures

If you make a complaint to us, we will:
let you know that we have received your complaint within 3 working days make sure your complaint is fully investigated as soon as possible by someone not involved in the original decisio…

State Insurance - rebuild information

State Insurance (part of IAG) have appointed Hawkins to manage their rebuild processes. All of their earthquake information can be accessed fromhere,including information on time frames and priorities. The following is extracted from their website. I am particularly intrigued by the "track progress online" benefit they intend to provide.

State and Hawkins - partnering together to rebuild Canterbury
We’ve partnered with Hawkins to project manage the rebuild and repair process for our Canterbury-based customers.Building project managers will work with dedicated claims case managers to co-ordinate and manage the process.A project office, managed by Hawkins, will be responsible for the entire process – from selecting contractors through to organising final inspections.The partnership will streamline the claim and rebuild/repair process for all parties involved.

Key benefits
One stop shop – you’ll have a single point of contact – your claims case managerStreamlined process …

CCC - Infrastructure rebuild

The following is an extract from the mayor's earthquake update released on Friday. It covers, in full, what has been done, and what is intended to be done shortly. Like us, the council is awaiting the third Tonkin & Taylor geotechnical report to know what needs to be done in various suburbs. The full update can be found here.

An important development is the desire of the council to be in charge of the overall land remediation process. It is not clear whether this desire extends to wanting to be involved in land remediation on private property.

The Council is eagerly awaiting EQC’s land remediation plans and has put up its hand to co-ordinate the process within the Christchurch City Council area.“Logically the Council is best placed to oversee the remediation,” Mr Parker said.This would enable the Council to closely co-ordinate land remediation with rebuilding of its own infrastructure.The Council has established an Infrastructure Rebuild Management Office, headed by Rod C…

Advocacy help in dealing with EQC, insurance companies and councils - Part 3

In his earthquake update the mayor Bob Parker reiterated his earlier public comment that there was no need for an advocacy service to work on behalf of residents. The first paragraph in that part of the update states:
Homeowners with unresolved issues can take these up with the Ombudsman (for EQC issues) and with the Insurance and Savings Ombudsman (for private insurance company issues). There have also been calls for a separate, independent advocacy group, which have not been support by Bob Parker.These comments are flawed as they do not actually address the need for, and purpose of, advocacy support. For some who read them, the content of this part of the update could be very misleading. The whole update can be found here.
Both the Ombudsmen (a Parliamentary agency whose territory includes EQC - the Ombudsmen are Officers of Parliament) and the Insurance and Savings Ombudsmen (a private agency covering most, but not all, banks and insurance companies - who fund the organ…