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Business interruption cover may expire on 22nd February

Media Release

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Business interruption cover may expire on 22nd February 2012 warns Insurance & Savings Ombudsman.

On the first anniversary of Christchurch’s February earthquake, the Insurance & Savings Ombudsman (ISO), Karen Stevens, is reminding Christchurch business owners to check their insurance policies. “Consumers can’t change the insurance they now have, but they can avoid any nasty surprises by finding out how long their business interruption cover will be in place.”

ISO’s Earthquake Response Manager, Iain Opray says, “The 22nd of February 2012 should serve as a reminder to business owners about the expiry of their business interruption indemnity period. While many policies provide cover for up to 12 months, some may provide cover for 18 months. If you aren’t sure if your business interruption is covered after the 22nd of February this year, contact your insurer,” he advises.

Iain Opray leads the Earthquake Response Team set up last year by the ISO in preparation for more demand on its disputes resolution service – in particular, as a place to turn to for insurance disputes. Iain has 50 years’ of knowledge and experience of the insurance industry, including 15 years’ of complaint handling experience with the ISO Office.

Following the February quake, the ISO set up a dedicated service on its freephone (0800 888 202) for people affected by the earthquakes. “This has proven an invaluable service,” says Iain. “Anyone can call our 0800 number, and talk to us about issues they have experienced with their insurer as a result of the earthquakes. It’s a really useful information service and it’s free. It’s also an important part of our role as an impartial and independent dispute resolution provider”, Iain explains, “as we’re able to provide information and guidance to help people resolve issues with their insurers themselves.”

Recognising the need for more consumer information about earthquake-related insurance, the ISO has added a dedicated earthquake page to its website www.iombudsman.org.nz. It includes case studies of earthquake-related insurance complaints resolved by the ISO, examples of FAQs received through the ISO’s earthquake enquiries freephone service (0800 888 202), together with consumer factsheets and news articles.


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