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Showing posts from December 2, 2012

Gerry Brownlee and being stuck in the Red Zone

Yesterday’s Press carried an article Red-zoners call for more time by Charlie Gates (here). The basis of the article is that, for some people, circumstances totally beyond their control mean they cannot be out of their Red Zone properties by the 30th of April.Part of the article refers to Minister Brownlee’s view of the situation: Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee told Parliament yesterday that it was "unlikely" that red-zone residents would be able to stay in their homes after the deadline had lapsed. "Given that to do that there would have to be maintenance of access and also infrastructure to those homes, it would need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis but I would have to say it is unlikely," he said.[note: can’t find this in Hansard so taking the Press on trust]The impression given, and erroneously recorded for posterity in Hansard,  is that because of the need to maintain access and infrastructure to the homes of those who need an extension, it …

AA Insurance changes – important for everyone with house insurance

Stuff (here) has reported that AA Insurance will no longer provide a full replacement policy option – instead they will offer only a “sum assured” policy. Existing policy holders will automatically switch to the sum assured style of policy on the 1st of July next year (if you are an AA customer there is more info at the bottom of this blog entry).

The change to a fixed-sum policy can be expected to occur across all companies as it is becoming a requirement of re-insurers, who do not like having to cover a risk of unknown size.

AA Insurance have a media release here. The release puts a positive spin on the change, claiming faster resolution and greater certainty for policy holders. While this may be true in part, it is clear there will be crucial areas of uncertainty, and the end result will inevitably remain the same – claimants at risk of being denied what they were insured for.

As discussed in the Stuff article, establishing the rebuild value of a property will be difficult and ther…

Info updates: CERA and Southern Response

CERA have released the December issue (N0. 16) of the Greater Christchurch Recovery Update. You can download a copy from here. Issues covered include:2012 – The recovery, Canterbury-style Have your say on transport planning for the central city A brief summary of An Accessible City, the draft Transport Plan Security and safety in the residential red zone over the holidays Support services over the Christmas and New Year period SCIRT’s first full year as the infrastructure rebuild team Land acquisition What EQC is doing to settle land claims Global opportunity to find solutions for Christchurch New resource to assist Cantabrians with financial issues and updates from Environment Canterbury, Christchurch City Council, Selwyn District Council, and Waimakariri District Council Southern Response have released their first annual report.  A copy can be downloaded from here..

EQC–update to changes to the Apportionment FAQ

Monday’s blog (here) mentioned changes to how EQC would make it’s apportionment assessment, and that reference to the customer's apportionment estimate had been removed.Yesterday EQC changed the page again, reinstating that part of the text to the way it was prior to Monday. The two paragraphs (here) now read:If there is no EQC assessment for every claim, then EQC looks at evidence such as the customer's apportionment estimate and the pattern of damage at similar neighbouring properties. If damage from any of the three events had exceeded the customer's cap (usually $100,000 +GST), the repair of the home would be managed by the private insurer.Further evidence that EQC don’t know what they are doing, and the on-going absence of workable quality control?.

Hard bargaining end games

A few weeks ago there was a post on more of the tactics used by hard bargainers (here).Auckland barrister and professional mediator Nigel Dunlop has written the fifth and final article in his series describing hard bargaining tactics. This article describes the games used to put pressure on negotiations to force an unfavourable decision on someone as negotiations seem to be coming to an end. The final instalment is on the NZLawyer online websitehere..

EQC - changes to the Apportionment FAQ

EQC today changed some of the layout of its Apportionment FAQ and added more text (here).Perhaps the most significant change occurs at the end of the explanation of how apportionment works, with the removal of the paragraph (underlining added):If there is no EQC assessment for every claim, then EQC looks at evidence such as the customer's apportionment estimate and the pattern of damage at similar neighbouring properties.and replacing it with:If the damage to your home wasn’t assessed after each event, EQC needs to use a variety of methods to establish how damage should be apportioned. These include comparing the damage with other properties in the area where we know what damage occurred and when it occurred. It also includes information provided by the homeowner.Presumably the “customer’s apportionment estimate” contained in the old version was too inconvenient for EQC to live with, and so it had to be replaced by something that gave them more more wriggle-room.One wonders under …