Ansvar claimants still getting paid

TAMLYN STEWART
Last updated 14:28 10/07/2012

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Ansvar claimants, including St Andrew's College in Papanui, are continuing to receive payments for earthquake-damage claims.

St Andrew's has received $15.68 million in quake-related payments from the insurer, now called ACS, the school's financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2011, show.

The school said in its annual report that it was a ''substantial'' creditor of ACS, along with other schools and churches in Canterbury.

St Andrew's had incurred significant strengthening costs, which were likely to continue and might not be fully funded by insurance cover, it said.

Insurer of churches, schools and historic buildings, Ansvar withdrew from the New Zealand insurance market late last year after it was flooded with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Canterbury quake claims. It changed its name to ACS (NZ) Ltd.

St Andrew's general manager David Evans told The Press recently that ''interactions with the company are progressing positively''.

He would not say whether the school was close to settling its claim but confirmed it had received progress payments.

The school's Strowan House, Memorial Chapel, Askin Band Room, Thompson, MacGibbon and Rutherford boarding houses, the preparatory school administration building and swimming pool were all significantly damaged by the quakes.

The school recently announced that engineers assessments showed the Memorial Chapel was irrepairable and would need to be rebuilt.

About $2.2m had been spent on strengthening work on the Rutherford boarding house and $1.65m on strenthening the arts block.

New boarding houses will be built to accommodate 120 boarders, and restoration work on Strowan House began over Christmas.

In June, ACS policyholders approved a scheme of arrangement proposed by ACS directors to manage a pro-rata system of payment of claims if the insurer goes under.

At the time, the Reserve Bank raised concerns over ACS's solvency, but ACS maintains it will be able to settle all claims in full.

The insurer said last week that it had settled some of its larger commercial claims since a policyholders' meeting on June 12, but would not say which claims had been settled.

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- The Press

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