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Non-Legal Insurance Advocacy Returning Homeowner’s Wellbeing

Non-Legal Insurance Advocacy Returning Homeowner’s Wellbeing

Homeowners with unresolved earthquake insurance claims are burdened down with copious and complicated technical reports and a myriad of explanations amid pressure to make decisions based on information they can no longer make sense of.

Canterbury Insurance Assistance Service, project facilitator, Lorraine Guthrie reports CIAS clients are overwhelmed by the information they now have, highly stressed and increasingly vulnerable from financial pressure and the struggle to remain physically well whilst living in inadequate physical and social conditions. Stress is impacting on couple’s relationships, their capacity to
parent their children and to maintain a healthy social life.

The word advocacy seems to have adverse undertones such as Advocates being combative, confrontational and unreasonable. Hence advocacy services preferring to advertise they offer advice not advocacy. At this late stage, so long after the earthquakes, homeowners NEED a reliable, caring and knowledgeable non-legal advocate to help them; make sense of the information, facilitate actions to make progress and to maintain a vision of the resolution clients no longer believe can happen. None of us should not be apologetic for offering advocacy.

Insurers are now reporting the benefits of having an advocate involved with a client and are welcoming our case facilitators.

CIAS clients become less self-protective, more able to consider options and better prepared, having worked through issues around their insurance claims with a CIAS case facilitator before meeting with EQC or an insurer. Many of the clients we see have lost trust and confidence in virtually everyone and we work hard to get that back so we can move forward with them to assist them to get their claims resolved fairly. We can almost see the stress lifting from clients’ shoulders when a

case facilitator agrees to attend a meeting with them.

We are about maintaining and improving a homeowner’s level of well-being which we believe insurers want also. Whether it is assistance or advocacy we choose to call insurance claims support, let’s just get it out there and available to all those who need it.

CIAS welcomes contact from homeowners either via the website contact form or at
www.cias.org.nz .


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