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Homeowners Group Says Private Insurers Need To Step Up

More than ten years after the Canterbury earthquakes which changed thousands of lives forever, a claimants group says insurers need to do better.

The Homeowners Advisory Group (HOAG) works with the Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service (GCCRS), a service set up by the government in October 2018, as a “one stop shop for earthquake claimants”.

HOAG chair Tom McBrearty, says whilst it is fantastic that Insurers engage widely with GCCRS, their continued reluctance to participate in determinations is reducing access to justice for claimants. Southern Response and EQC are actively engaged in determinations however private insurers are continuing to refuse to be involved in the determination process offered by GCCRS.

“We understand that most often the outcomes within the determination process have been very positive, allowing claimants to finally move on in an effective and fair way,” he says. “Additionally, the process is much quicker than via the tribunal and courts, and after more than a decade, we believe claimants should have the option to settle their claim using the determination process regardless of who their insurer is.”

HOAG understands claims heard via the GCCRS determination process can be heard and a decision made in as short a time as a month. Mr McBrearty says the group doesn’t understand why insurers (other than EQC and Southern Response) would want to reduce the options available to homeowners who are keen to move forward and resolve their claims.

He adds, “The use of the determination process at GCCRS is less stressful for claimants, and is time and cost-effective for all parties. We are calling on the private insurers to step up, show good faith and enable claimants to access this process at GCCRS, if claimants wish to,” he says.

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