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Friday, 22 March 2013

Red Zone Extension ministerial paper has been released.

CERA have released the ministerial paper authorising extension of the Red Zone deadline for most areas to 31 July 2013. It is on their Cabinet papers webpage here (towards the bottom, just above the Port Hills zoning information).

There is some interesting stuff in the paper, and a lot that has been withheld, particularly relating to vulnerable people and how this category is defined by CERA.  Of particular interest is the fact Minister Brownlee ignored a significant part of the recommendations.

The paper recommended that there be case by case assessments aimed at those who are vulnerable, and those who were facing extraordinary delays because of exceptional circumstances (paras 4 & 5 in the Executive Summary).  These issues were put to CERA on numerous occasions by the communities involved and clearly they were listening.

For whatever reason this didn’t receive ministerial approval. Instead a blanket extension was given, allowing everyone more time. For many this was an extremely good thing because, as stated in para 8.6 of the Recommendations, CERA estimated that of the 1,000 of the property owners still in the Red Zones less than half would have received any extension at all (i.e. more than 500 would still be faced with exiting by 30 April).

One key element missing in the the paper’s background and commentary material is a realistic appreciation of the relationship between deadlines and insurer behaviour. Somehow there appears to be a silent and unrealistic assumption that more time will enable policy holders and insurers to reach agreement. Deadlines are just winning posts for insurers, a point in time to which they need to deny, delay, procrastinate and bully, after which the government will “sort” the problem for them.

Until the government pushes insurers into decisive action, and allows dispute or legal processes to work themselves out, there will be no timely equitable settlement of claims.

More on AA Insurance’s sum insured house policies

AA Insurance have updated their Sum Insured FAQs (here). More topics are covered and additional information has been provided.

The topics covered are:

  • What are the changes happening to your home insurance?
  • Why the change?
  • What is the effect on my home insurance premiums?
  • When will the change happen?
  • Do I need to check and revise the Default Sum Insured on my renewal notice?
  • On what will my insurance be based?
  • How do I work out my Sum Insured?
  • Why can't AA Insurance work out the Sum Insured for me?
  • Who is Cordell? What is the Cordell Online Calculator?
  • What do I need to do?
  • Who is responsible for keeping my Sum Insured up-to-date?

This is important stuff no matter who your insure with as all insurance companies are following this path.

There are a number of issues for homeowners, as raised earlier on the blog, that aren’t covered by insurers. Extracts from them are below, if you click the link.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Wallboard repairs – the problems of inadequate assessments and inadequate repairs

Gib (Winstone Wallboards Ltd) have put their March RE:BUILDING newsletter on the web here.

Of most interest for those having their homes repaired is the article REPAIRING DAMAGED HOMES: GET THE STRUCTURE RIGHT FIRST. The short article covers the issue of inadequate damage assessments and the problems that arise from both inadequate assessments and repairs. The article is here.

There is a Gib information page here with material on the assessment and repair of earthquake damaged wall and ceilings.


Tuesday, 19 March 2013

CERA - Another community issues and questions update

CERA has added more information to their answers to the following questions:

  • What kind of information am I entitled to receive about my property?
  • Once payment has been determined when can I expect to receive it?
  • Residential Rebuild Plans
  • Land Remediation

The CERA Community Issues and Questions page is here.