Substandard Steel Mesh - ICNZ reassures homeowners
MEDIA STATEMENT: Substandard Steel Mesh - ICNZ reassures homeowners
The following can be attributed to Tim Grafton, Insurance Council Chief Executive:
“People with home and contents insurance in houses built with steel slabs using sub-standard steel mesh in the last four years should not be unduly concerned about their insurance coverage.
Yesterday, a class action lawyer was reported as saying that unnamed insurers in London had said the use of this mesh could compromise house insurance.
If homeowners do have concerns that they have substandard steel mesh used in their slabs they should contact their insurer.
However, The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has also advised that houses that have used products in floor slabs that have not met this standard does not mean that they have not met the Building Code. This is because a number of factors will be assessed when determining the overall resilience of a house. In March, MBIE advised Building Consent Authorities that, in its view, if a house has obtained a Code of Compliance Certificate from them there is no need to take any action because the house will still meet the structural (as well as the life safety) requirements of the Building Code.
Insurers will typically be reliant on Code Compliance Certificates issued by councils to provide them with confidence around the structural integrity.
Steel mesh standards were increased after the Canterbury earthquakes as a measure to reduce the level of damage in future events.
Steel mesh sold in New Zealand must comply with the Australia/New Zealand standard (AS/NZ 4671:2001). The Commerce Commission tested a small sample of steel manufactured by a number of companies earlier this year which did not meet this standard.
It said at the time that the tests alone did not establish non-compliance, but showed that the sheets of mesh tested failed the testing. The Commission also tested a sample of steel mesh from Fletcher Building. Those tests did not raise concerns.
In general, home insurance policies don't provide cover for faults in materials, but will cover resultant damage.” ends