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Not all doom and gloom for Central City property owners

Not all doom and gloom for Central City property owners - make haste slowly with insurance claims

July 31, 2012

Moves by the Crown to acquire some 840 properties within the new CBDboundaries could see affected property owners reaping the rewards of their outstanding insurance claims.

But, these owners should not feel pressured into accepting prematurely insurance payouts on their property.

Michael Childress, from Risk Worldwide, an international consulting company, with a Christchurch office, that specialises in insurance recovery, said that news in recent weeks from insurers stating that policy holders must settle their claims prior to selling their assets has lead to dismay and concern amongst property owners.

“This is not the case and property owners need to think laterally around retaining their rights and entitlements.

“The City has been flooded with misinformation from insurers over recent weeks in a bid to see claims settled quickly. Pushing people to settle in order to sell their property often pressurises them into accepting a lower offer from their insurer, which was their aim all along.

“Property owners need to be wary of the information they are given with respect to selling their properties. Although it is true that you cannot assign a policy from one owner to another, as your policy is an agreement between you and your insurer, the claim that is attached to that property should it suffer a peril is transferrable and property owners need to know what that means for them.

“I doubt the Government will be wanting anything to do with the outstanding claims on the assets that were, and in some cases are, still sitting on the land, so property owners must ensure they retain the right to continue pursuing their claim and not have settlement of the claim as a condition of sale.

“This applies not only to commercial properties, but all properties,” he said.

Childress believes that if managed correctly, property owners within the new CBD can reap the benefits of the sale proceeds from the Government whilst also continuing to pursue their insurer.

“Even though they will have relinquished their land, the proceeds from both will at least give people options to invest in the rebuild be it inside the new CBD or outside.

“What is vital is that property owners do not take their insurers’ word on their rights when it comes to selling but seek independent advice, otherwise a lot of money could be left on the table as a result of hastily made decisions,“ he said.
ends

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