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Friday, 26 April 2013

Land claims information from EQC

EQC have released three new items of information for those with land damage (see details toward the end of this post).  Arising from what EQC intends doing and paying on land, there are major risks for many with significant land damage. Some of the risks are speculative at this stage, because there is insufficient information to remove doubt and give confidence.

EQC will not, in most cases, be carrying out or organising land repairs themselves. Instead, land owners will be cash settled (or in some cases whoever holds the mortgage gets the money), and it will be their responsibility to have the land “fixed”.  Under no circumstances can a property owner expect to receive the real cost of making good land that has significant damage. As EQC say in their Guide to Canterbury Land Claims:

The value of a cash settlement therefore will not be the amount of money needed to reinstate the insured land, or retaining walls, bridges or culverts.

The costing of repairs is done by EQC. To do this “EQC has a range of potential land repair methods and selects the one most appropriate to repair the damage.” Given EQC’s track record of inaccurate assessments and costings, plus the little matter of underpaying some assessments, there can be no confidence that all settlements will be at the appropriate level.

Not everything in the process is transparent. The land settlement pack  (see item 2.below) includes a diagram of the property with the damage marked out on it, plus a Land Assessment – Legend Sheet describing the nature and size of the damage areas.  However the sample Land Settlement Calculation letter, which gives the value attributed to damage, contains no information of what the repair consists of, or the repair methodology used to calculate the settlement. So, you get your letter and have no way of knowing exactly what has to be done, or the methodology EQC used to price the work. This is the first risk – is it all there, is it a suitable methodology, and will the calculation be realistic?

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Community Energy Action - advice on wet insulation

Community Energy Action (CEA) have updated their advice on making house warmer. In particular they make the point that once insulation becomes wet it is subject to mould as well as losing its effectiveness.

Even when dried insulation materials have lost their effectiveness. CEA make the point that wet insulation should be listed on your claim to EQC and your insurer.

There is more information here.


Canterbury Green Zone building guides

The Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment has released two Quick Guides for builders working in the Green Zones (TC1, TC2, TC3). Very useful for residents too.

They are:

  • The Guide for Canterbury Builders Below–Floor Work
  • The Guide for Canterbury Builders Above–Floor Work

Each Guide briefly outlines the regulatory requirements and highlights special issues. They can be downloaded from here.

Both are short and easy to read. If you are having work done you really should read them. If you are having a Fletchers EQR repair done these guides may help you know what to expect and to check what is actually being done.

The contents of the Below-Floor Work Guide are:

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Southern Response FAQ - Who will I work with on my claim?

The FAQ describes the processes and people Southern Response will use to work with you on your claim (here).