Vero to ramp up quake repairs in 2013

MARTA STEEMAN
Last updated 13:53 14/11/2012

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Australian insurer Vero says it is aiming to ramp up its earthquake repairs and rebuilds early next year and talk to more of its technical category 3 customers.

Vero's earthquake programme executive manager, Jimmy Higgins, said that while there was "a modest number of over-cap domestic rebuilds and repairs under way", the compmany expected construction activity to significantly increase in the first half of 2013.

As New Zealand's second-largest general insurer, Vero had about 200 repairs and rebuild projects ready to start and would have another 500 to 600 by Christmas in the preconstruction and construction stage.

It had sent its residential claimants starting dates for their repairs and rebuilds by the end of September.

The starting dates are within the next six months and go through to 2015.

Vero is not saying when it expects to complete the projects.

Higgins said Vero had settled almost 50 per cent of its 19,600 commercial and domestic claims, including payments of $1.76 billion.

It had started some repairs in the TC3 zone and expected to talk to more TC3 customers next year.

The zone is considered vulnerable to moderate to severe liquefaction and has the most complexity on land remediation and foundation repairs. About 28,000 Christchurch properties are TC3.

Higgins said Vero's drilling programme was enabling better understanding of how to repair and rebuild in the TC3 zone.

Vero had more than 1000 projects in the final stages of preconstruction.

Almost one-third of its ''non-EQC'' claims - such as for drives, paths, fences, swimming pools and retaining walls - were completed or near completion.

It was paying between $80 million and $100m a month in claims, Higgins said.

The company had set up specialist teams for customer groups, such as a team for TC3 claims and one for ''non-EQC'' claims to accelerate its response.

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- The Press

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