New-home buyer left in void after quake

ALEX FENSOME
Last updated 05:00 25/07/2013
Michael Sunich

INSURANCE BLACKOUT: First-home buyer Michael Sunich has been left in limbo.

Relevant offers

Money

We've been playing Monopoly wrong - it's a protest against the rich One in seven house fires start in garages, AA Insurance says There has been a surge in the number of people switching power providers Five ways to cut your power bill over winter - but don't scrimp on the heating Fees can take big chunk of money transfer The Receipt: Stuff's new series shows you how your spending compares Which is the most expensive vice? Booze, cigarettes, fast food or coffee? Cost of moving can run into tens of thousands of dollars Growing numbers of Kiwis may be dodging tax on 'bit on the side' Budget Buster: The 'Bank of Mum and Dad' needs to toughen up

First-home buyer Michael Sunich has been left in limbo by insurers' reluctance to cover him after Sunday's earthquake.

Several insurance companies have imposed an "exclusion zone" in Marlborough and Greater Wellington, where new policies will not be offered until seismic activity has abated.

That's left Mr Sunich, who planned to buy a $135,000 home in Upper Hutt last weekend, stuck with no insurance and settlement due.

It is his first home, and the sale was on a tight deadline.

"I made an offer on Friday, it was accepted on Saturday, and on Sunday the quake happened. I went to get insurance on Monday morning and nobody wants to know."

His real estate agent, The Professionals in Upper Hutt, suggested asking if the existing owner's insurance could be transferred to him. However, his preferred insurance company, AMI, said it could not transfer the policy because it was with a different underwriting group to Westpac, the seller's insurers.

Westpac said it was willing to make the transfer, but Mr Sunich would have to pay to swap to AMI once the market opened up again.

Mr Sunich wanted to stick with AMI, which covered all his other insurance.

AMI said last night it was not sure what "transfer fee" was being referred to, but it would welcome the chance to quote again on Mr Sunich's home, as soon as it returned to writing new business.

Harcourts Wellington City managing director Marty Scott said the buying process was not "stuck", but would take longer to work through. "In an auction, tender or normal sale and purchase agreement, buyers would be prudent to insert an insurance clause giving them, say, three to five days to get the insurance before the sale can become unconditional."

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content