Insurers race the rebuild clock

MICHAEL WRIGHT
Last updated 05:00 20/02/2013

Relevant offers

The Rebuild

House builders warned of shoddy work Wards go up at new Burwood campus Canterbury the house-building capital New product launches at trade-only event Rebuild inspiration from around the world Opinions divided on blueprint success New four-star hotel for Christchurch Chch may become edible Garden City Rebuild behind schedule - Labour MPs Hottest Tradie voting closes Thursday

A third of the most badly quake-damaged homes in Canterbury have had their insurance claims settled, but insurers are facing huge work rates to meet ambitious building deadlines.

About 18,500 properties were so badly hit in the earthquakes that the damage bill exceeded the Earthquake Commission's $100,000 liability cap and they were referred to private insurers for major repairs or rebuilds.

So far, 3600 have been fixed or cash-settled and another 2200 were in the design and construction phase. However, just 400 homes have been repaired or rebuilt to date, with another 650 new home builds and 500 major repairs due in the next six months.

Most insurers have set deadlines of the end of 2015 to have work on all properties complete.

Insurance Council chief executive Tim Grafton said there was no question they had to move faster.

"Absolutely. To meet those deadlines [work] will ramp up considerably. It obviously has to . . . to meet the deadlines that have been set."

In December, Southern Response, the claims management company handling AMI's quake claims, said it was not happy with its rebuild progress. It expected it would rebuild about 3500 houses, or half of its over-cap claims.

The company would wind up in mid-2016, meaning its job translated to about 2 rebuilds a day for the next 3 years.

Meanwhile, insurance companies have paid out nearly $7 billion in Canterbury earthquake claims. Insurance Council figures show $6.7b has been paid in settlements; the commercial side, at $4.7b is much further progressed than residential, where $2b of claims have been settled.

Commercial settlements were not subject to Earthquake Commission (EQC) coverage and apportionment, Grafton said.

About 7500 were still in apportionment limbo where EQC was liable for $100,000 over multiple earthquakes, but had yet to work out what damage occurred when and if private insurers had to be involved.

Damage that could not be matched to a claim and multi-unit cross-lease apartments where insurers and EQC had to agree were also slowing residential progress, Grafton said.

Ad Feedback

- The Press

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Is the mayor correct to put libraries, pools and community facilities ahead of the Town Hall?

Absolutely, they're far more important

I think funds should be split between those facilities and the town hall

No, the Town Hall should be rebuilt first

Just demolish the Town Hall completely instead of rebuilding

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content