Voluntary insurance advocacy proposed

21:29, Mar 28 2013

A voluntary register where people can give details of the status of their post-quake insurance claims may be set up by the Christchurch City Council.

The register has been proposed by council staff investigating options for setting up an independent, not-for-profit insurance advocacy service. 

They say it would be useful at it would provide a realistic view of the number of people who are currently in dispute with their insurers and who might avail themselves of such a service.  

Nine months ago councillors called for an urgent report into options for setting up an independent advocacy service but council staff have been waiting to see what action the government is going to take before preparing the report.

But earlier this month councillors got fed up with the wait-and-see approach and ordered staff to get on with the job. 

Their initial report was considered by councillors on Thursday. 


It said it was clear, given the complexity of the insurance issues in Christchurch that any advocacy or advisory service would require a network of skilled people dispersed across the city to staff it.

It went on to recommend the council explore with current service providers how a financial contribution from the council of up to $200,000 could be most effectively used by them to support the insurance advocacy interests of the residents of Christchurch and what level of service could be undertaken with the funding.

It also noted that the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) was working on plans for a new advocacy/advisory service and it was likely a report on that would be ready shortly for councillors to consider. 

That report was likely to include a request for some financial assistance from the council.

But Cr Helen Broughton said she believed that if the council was going to put money in, it would be better going into the council's own service.

Cr Tim Carter said he was happy with the approach recommended by staff and they "should just get on with it.''.

Councillors will receive a further report on the proposed insurance advocacy service next month.

The Press