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City Council Unanimously Agrees To Insurance Advocacy

Media Release -

Christchurch City Council Unanimously Agrees To Insurance Advocacy Service

"It comes as little surprise that insurers were never willing to step into the advocacy space because from their perspective, it's about protecting their balance sheets, rather than looking after their policy-holders," says Cr. Glenn Livingstone, in response to today's unanimous resolution by the Christchurch City Council to fund a trust being formed to provide Insurance Advocacy, following a deputation to the Council by Ali Jones and Mike Coleman.

Livingstone, who pushed the case for an Advocacy service over and against an Advisory service, says it was important for the Council to grasp the fundamental difference between the two. "CERA has just announced the establishment of a Residential Advisory Service, nine months after the Council called for an Insurance Tribunal and Advocacy service. Recognising that no-one was going to compel insurers to treat residents fairly and reasonably, the Council today resolved to back those who will," Livingstone says.

"Advisory is only ever going to deliver that - advice", Livingstone says. "It is not going to represent policy-holders rights to be treated reasonably, fairly and transparently by the insurers, though legislation and the United Nations 'Principles for Sustainable Insurance', of which the insurance companies are signatories, compels them to."

"This is a very good decision by the Council. It is important now that both the Trust and the Council are clear in their intentions with one another and that the Advocacy service offered by the trust is up and running as soon as possible", Livingstone says. "It is appropriate that advocacy on behalf of affected Christchurch residents is in the hands of the residents themselves. International experience post-disaster tells us that the most effective recovery is community-led. "

ENDS

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