Half IAG's claims settled or underway

ALAN WOOD
Last updated 15:04 15/02/2013

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New Zealand's biggest insurer says about 52 per cent of its Christchurch residential claims have been settled or are in progress, with priority now being given to ''vulnerable'' customers.

IAG says the other 48 per cent of the claims are queued in its Christchurch rebuild and repair programme, due to begin between now and the last quarter of 2014.

The Australian ASX-listed IAG has about 7000 over-cap major repair or rebuild claims in Greater Christchurch.

Late last year, all IAG earthquake-affected customers were informed of the status of their properties, including timelines for reinstatement.

The customers come under State, NZI, Lantern Insurance and insurance programmes offered by the ASB, BNZ and The Co-operative Bank.

The first series of reinstatements for ''quarter one'' were under way, with all jobs due to begin within the next two years, based on customer priority, IAG said.

''We are prioritising the rebuild and repair of the homes of our worst-affected customers,'' it said.

''Priority is given to customers with uninhabitable houses first, then via a range of vulnerability factors similar to those used by the Red Cross. It is envisaged the claims of worst-affected customers will be resolved or well into the build phase this year.''

IAG Canterbury recovery executive general manager Dean MacGregor said the last residential repair or rebuild was scheduled to start no later than the last quarter of 2014, with the aim to complete the residential programme by December 2015.

So far the insurers had built 125 new homes and completed major repairs on 50 homes.

The new build time was about 42 weeks, accounting for planning and consenting, with about 22 weeks on site. The repair time averaged 38 weeks.

Preferred builders for the new-home projects included Mike Greer Homes, Stonewood Homes, Orange Homes, Jennian Homes, Versatile Homes, Golden Homes and Peter Ray Homes.

The insurer now had 588 new homes and 824 major repairs in some stage of construction.

''At peak, our programme will deliver 85 new homes a month and 150 major repairs, at a cost of $50 million per month,'' it said.

MacGregor said that in the insurer's commercial claims area, about 73 per cent of business interruption claims had been settled, with 57 per cent of commercial material damage claims settled.

Taking these two figures together, about 61 per cent of commercial claims had been settled.

In addition, IAG had about 20,000 non-Earthquake Commission claims.

These claims included claims for paths, driveways and fences.

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In total, about 22 per cent of the non-EQC claims had been completed, he said.

- The Press

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