Lumley boosts Christchurch team

ALAN WOOD
Last updated 13:06 03/09/2012

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Lumley Insurance says it is expanding its Christchurch response unit to provide faster resolution to all earthquake claims.

As Canterbury approaches the second anniversary of the initial earthquakes tomorrow, Lumley said it was aware Canterbury residents needed to get back into a normal home environment as soon as possible.

To get a more efficient resolution to all quake claims, Lumley was looking to employ local people as part of its increased response programme.

The staff would form the Lumley Canterbury Response Unit (CRU), owned and managed directly by Lumley Insurance.

In a recent survey on responses to the quakes by volunteer organisation Insurance Watch, IAG was rated the worst, with Vero not far behind. Lumley was rated best.

The survey of 1000 Christchurch residents, released a month ago, showed the two large Australian insurers, IAG and Vero, were regarded as the worst for their slowness in tackling residential repair and rebuild claims.

Lumley acting chief executive Alistair Smith said that as the company moved further into the rebuild or repair of homes it was important to have a single response unit to take responsibility for quickly resolving every claim.

''We are in the process of significantly enhancing our operational capacity by building on the more specialist skills and resources required for this phase," he said.

Lumley had already hired a considerable number of staff and was in the process of recruiting more.

The insurer's preference was to use local people as much as possible, whether their expertise was as an assessor, project manager or builder.

The decision to set up the Lumley CRU would provide customers with the options ranging from managing their repair or rebuild through to a cash settlement.

The Christchurch-based CRU would work closely with the Lumley Auckland-based claims team to ensure continuity of service.

The combined response would provide the mechanism to meet the challenges of the resolution phase of the programme, Smith said.

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- The Press

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