Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Earthquake Court Approach Misguided

media release

9 June 2014

Earthquake Court Approach Misguided

Lawyers will be the only winners from the Labour Party’s decision to set up an Earthquake Court that would be funded by everyone who takes out insurance in New Zealand and potentially Cantabrians may have to wait even longer to have claims resolved, the Insurance Council Chief Executive Tim Grafton said today.

“The idea of creating a situation where effectively you are forced by the State to pay people to sue you is totally rejected and would set a very bad precedent for the future.” Mr Grafton said.

“The supposed justification for this misguided policy is Labour’s statement that 10,000 insurance claims have not been settled. The reality is that 87% of the 22,500 over cap claims with insurers have been settled or agreement reached with the customer, there is only a very small fraction of claims that may be in dispute,” says Mr Grafton.

“About 1,500 customers have still to make decisions on the offers made by insurers but the majority are waiting for their land settlement offers from EQC before deciding, very few are in actual dispute.

“Where there is a dispute there are free services available to people to resolve maters without having to go to Court. First, there is the internal disputes resolution service with the insurer, next there are the external, registered disputes resolution services and in addition to this there is the Residential Advisory Service that insurers help fund,” he says.

“We would encourage people to use the independent services such as the Residential Advisory Service because in many cases the disputes are not legal issues but technical matters relating to differences about engineering assessments of damage,” he says.

“Clearly the current resolution procedures available are working because at the end of December 2013 there were 2,600 customers with undecided claims but by the end of March 2014 the number had reduced to 1,500 with a further 1,100 customers agreeing to a resolution with their insurer or claims management company,” says Mr Grafton.

“Where matters have gone to court, there are about 175 active earthquake cases before the High Court of which about 70% have been brought by one lawyer Grant Shand.

“Encouraging people to go to Court by making it free means people may abandon the already free disputes resolution services regardless of the merits of their case to the uncertain outcome of the Courts. This would put a halt to the customer’s recovery progress until the Court has determined their cases.

“Many customers just want to get on with their repairs and rebuilds but this misguided policy may create some confusion and further delay resolution as some may think they’ll await the outcome of the election to see whether some State-sanctioned court action may result in a future windfall,” says Mr Grafton.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

OceanaGold: Man Killed In Waihi Mine Accident

A 29-year-old man had died following a work place accident at OceanaGold mine, Waihi last night. The man was killed after the front end loader he was in rolled down a slope. The accident happened at approximately 6.30pm on Thursday night. More>>

ALSO:

Constructing Consent: Annual Housing Consents Highest In Over A Decade

More than 29,000 new homes gained building consent in the year to June 2016, up 16 percent from the previous June year, Statistics New Zealand said today. More>>

ALSO:

War Against Weevil For Future Peas: “No Peas, No Weevil” Ban Now In Place In Wairarapa

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has today placed a ban on growing peas within a specified area and placed controls on moving pea material (seed and untreated pea straw) within, in and out of this area for the next 2 years. More>>

ALSO:

Wood Producers: Crisis In New Zealand Log Supply

New Zealand wood processing leaders held a hui with senior government officials and political leaders in Whangarei yesterday to assess the acute log supply shortage to local mills in Northland. More>>

Consents And Taxes: Trustpower 'Very Disappointed' With Judgement

Trustpower is "very disappointed" with a Supreme Court ruling dismissing its bid to claim tax deductions on $17.7 million of project costs in a case closely watched by large-scale infrastructure developers. More>>

ALSO:

Fruitful Endeavours: Kiwifruit Exports Reach Record Levels

In June 2016, kiwifruit exports rose $105 million (47 percent) from June 2015 to reach $331 million, Statistics New Zealand said today. Overall, goods exports rose $109 million (2.6 percent) in June 2016 (to $4.3 billion). More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news