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Brownlee should be backing residents

Clayton Cosgrove
EQC Spokesperson

10 June 2014

Brownlee should be backing residents

Gerry Brownlee has once again shown where his priorities lie, picking to side with insurance companies rather than the people of Christchurch, says Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.

“Mr Brownlee and the Insurance Council are throwing their toys over Labour’s plans to create an ‘earthquake court’ to clear a backlog of claims still waiting to be settled almost four years after the earthquakes, arguing the insurance sector is on the case and doing its job and that ‘only a small fraction’ of claims are in dispute.

“There are more than 10,000 claims yet to be settled. The insurance council says exactly that on its website: ‘Of the 22,455 over cap dwellings, 9,875 (44%) had been settled, 9,755 (43%) were pending settlement and 2,876 (13%) were still to be made an offer or the insured had not made a decision on their offer’.

“Add the high number of large EQC claims outstanding and it’s plain more needs to be done.

“To argue that cases which are pending settlement are settled is ludicrous. Sending an offer to a claimant is not settlement. The reason there is conflict and non-settlement is because of disagreement between the insurers offer and the claimant’s view of damage.

“Insurers have a duty to settle claims within a reasonable time. To suggest that Labour is misguided because we want to ensure they meet that duty is duplicitous, as are threats to bump up premiums because they may be forced to do the job they are there to do.

“The insurance industry and Gerry Brownlee have failed the residents of Christchurch. No one should have to wait over three years to have a claim settled. People should be compensated for that delay. The costs of resolving disputes should be met by insurers. Why is Mr Brownlee opposed to that?

“Labour’s earthquake court will ensure justice is available to all.”

ENDS

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