There is much to do in Christchurch, but there is also much to do to ready ourselves properly, effectively and efficiently now, to ensure that the problems of Christchurch never again be the problems that any other New Zealanders needlessly has to endure.
The changes suggested need political intervention and a will from politicians to “do the right thing” for ordinary New Zealanders. Ask Your local Politician what they intend to do to fix this problem.
– Kevin Seque
Political Intervention is Needed to “do the right thing” for New Zealanders
KSL Audit Limited an Insurance advocacy firm in Christchurch that has been involved in the settlement of in excess of 300 claims, has developed this 18-minute video with the purpose of ensuring that such a nightmare never happens again, to anyone, anywhere in New Zealand.
The video highlights what has happened, why it has happened and how it can be averted in the future.
KSL Audit’s goal is to create awareness of the issues homeowners have endured at the hands of:
- An incompetent and ill prepared EQC.
- An opportunistic Insurance industry management and staff being paid incentives to understate claims settlements.
- Incompetent and inaccurate assessment processes.
- Inappropriate and non-consented repairs.
- Government developed MBIE sub standard repair guidelines.
- Insensitive and ineffective politicians.
- An inappropriate dispute resolution process.
This tragedy has unfolded before politicians’ eyes, yet still, they remain “blinded” to the plight of many Canterbury homeowners 7 years on.
As at 30 June 2017 EQC had reported in excess of 5,500 unresolved defective repairs and media reports indicate this figure closer to 13,500, the truth will be revealed over time.
To ensure that Christchurch’s pain is never experienced by any other New Zealander.
- The Insurance Industry must be Government Regulated. “Self-regulation has failed”.
- Independent loss adjusters who are required to be members of a professional body which have a code of conduct must be appointed to assess all future claims.
- The Insurance policy wording must be clear and concise. No ambiguity. A clearly defined standard of repair is to be issued to Loss Adjuster and all reports must meet the policy standard of repair.
- There should be a 2-year maximum deadline on finalising the settlement of all claims or Insurers to face significant financial penalties.
- EQC must be overhauled.
- EQC management needs to ensure that only qualified, trained personnel with an ongoing staff development program are retained.
- Apportionment and exacerbation must be properly explained and understood by staff and the public.
- All Insurance staff must be qualified and trained and possess a thorough understanding of the Earthquake Commission Act, the insurance policy requirements and obligations, and to act in good faith within the terms of the Fair Insurance code.
- For those employees tasked with managing the reinstatement of houses, they need, not only to possess the knowledge of the EQC Act and the policy but must also have a sound understanding of the building code, local authority requirements and be skilled in the process of comparative costing.
- Within the policy, the Insurer must provide the letter of instruction and standard of repair the engineer will be required to respond to, in plain language.
- A comprehensive first responders protocol needs to be developed by the loss adjusting community.
- The protocol will appoint “triage” teams, that incorporate all aspects of construction including a panel of “vetted” CPeng registered engineers, building surveyors and LBP’s, Quantity surveyors, Topographical surveyors, Geotechnical Engineers etc.
Consented repairs and the LIM
- Within the reinstatement process, it is mandated that the local issuing authority, eg Christchurch City Council, insist that all repairs be notified and entered on the LIM to protect future property purchasers.
- Insurance settlements concluded on the basis of “total loss” and “uneconomic to repair” declarations must be recorded on the LIM.
Disputes resolution process
- A specialist tribunal to be established for disaster claims.
- There is a need to establish a more effective and robust disputes resolution process that is appropriately resourced to deal with major single adverse events such as the Christchurch earthquake sequence.
- The existing Ombudsmen’s Office is not sufficiently resourced nor appropriate to deal with the very specific technical and legal issues of a natural disaster.
- The Commerce Commission must be appropriately resourced to investigate complaints with urgency.
- With a 2-year “time bound” settlement process, Insurers should not be able to rely on the Limitations Act as a defence to meeting their claims obligations.
- The current Limitations period should be extended to 4/9/2020 for all current claims.