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Southern Response to pay $300m compensation directly to Canterbury homeowners


High Court judgments released yesterday (20 September) have confirmed Southern Response can now directly contact 3,000 Canterbury homeowners about $300 million compensation owed to them, two years after the insurance company was found to have engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct.

Homeowners have until 20 December 2021 to opt-out of the Ross Class Action (RCA) and instead opt for direct payment from Southern Response.

In August 2019, Anthony Harper lawyer Peter Woods established in the High Court that Southern Response had misrepresented the earthquake insurance entitlements of Karl and Alison Dodds. Southern Response's appeal to the Court of Appeal was later dismissed.

"Homeowners should now seek independent legal advice about their compensation claim, and guidance on how to apply to Southern Response for the balance due to them,” Woods says.

“The 2019 judgment in favour of the Dodds opened the way to rectify 3,000 other Southern Response claims,” Woods says.

People who cash-settled their Southern Response earthquake claims before 1 October 2014 on the same basis as the Dodds, are entitled to a further payment of approximately 20 percent of their original settlement plus interest. The average compensation payable is approximately $100,000 for each homeowner.

Anthony Harper is already handling more than 50 claims, and 20 claims have been settled recently with compensation ranging from $63,000 to $427,000.

Karl and Alison Dodds are ecstatic that their claim has led to this outcome for 3,000 other homeowners, more than a decade after the Canterbury earthquakes damaged their homes.

“We urge everyone to seek independent legal advice immediately. Unlike our case, this is now a very simple process,” Karl Dodds says.

Anyone who thinks they are eligible for the Southern Response compensation can go online to Anthony Harper's dedicated website www.SouthernResponsePayment.co.nz to submit their claim information and a request for legal advice.

Anthony Harper will also provide advice on the Ross Class Action opt-out, and how that relates to the Southern Response offer.

Anthony Harper is charging a fixed fee of $2500 plus GST for recovering this compensation and giving legal advice. Southern Response has confirmed it will reimburse the homeowner $2000 of this fee.

More information is available at Anthony Harper's dedicated website SouthernResponsePayment.co.nz

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