Woes with insurer spelt out

CHARLES ANDERSON
Last updated 05:00 04/12/2013
Southern Response

SAYS IT ALL: The Marsh family took to their roof to tell their insurer what they thought of them.

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Sarah Marsh spent her Sunday on the roof of her St Andrews Hill home expressing in thick black paint exactly how she felt about her treatment by insurer Southern Response.

In preparation for a protest the following day at the insurer's offices, that drew more than 100 dissatisfied customers, Marsh wanted to make a statement.

"Southern No Response", was it.

"We have been messed around so much. I have given up my job so I can take this on fulltime."

Her family are in litigation with Southern Response, a Crown-owned company set up to handle AMI claims, because of a dispute over the cost to repair the home.

Marsh said one of her two children had spent half her life in an unrepaired home and that was not good enough.

She said Southern Response initially offered a "lowball" amount for the repair but then she enlisted independent assessors to look at her case. They concluded that a repair was uneconomical.

"It doesn't make sense to me. Surely if they have got a position where they are able to demonstrate where we are wrong they should be able to sit down and talk with us."

Marsh, who runs a Facebook group also called "Southern No Response" helped rally people to the protest on Monday, where disgruntled customers served the insurer's chief executive, Peter Rose, with their complaints.

According to a leaked report, Southern Response has been able to fully settle only 2588 of its 6759 claims (excluding claims for fences and driveways). It has cash settled 949 claims and 2940 clients are building new homes through its programme. About 250 claims are in dispute.

More than a few people have already stopped by Marsh's home to offer support after noticing her artwork.

"We want to give hope to other people that there is a way out of this."

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- The Press

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