Demolition farce for St Albans homes
An earthquake-style insurance farce has emerged in Christchurch after one insurer decided to repair two severely damaged homes that share walls and a foundation with two others slated for demolition.
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The four damaged homes are all part of the same property in Stoneyhurst St, St Albans. They share internal walls and foundations and are all severely quake-damaged.
However, they do not share insurance companies.
The owners of No 2 and No 4 are insured with IAG and have been told their flats will be repaired, while the owners of 1 and 3 are insured with Lumley and have been told their flats must be demolished and rebuilt.
Press feature writer and columnist Beck Eleven owns unit 4 and until last week was still waiting to learn the fate of her damaged home from IAG.
Eleven said in her last column: "While the insurers cannot make up their minds whether the quakehouse is a rebuild or a repair, it sits like a gigantic health hazard, fire risk and eyesore for the neighbourhood."
It had also been a target for burglars, she said. It has been broken into at least three times.
"In the latest break-in, they left behind a little DNA in the form of a bucket of wees in the kitchen and a pile of number 2 in the toilet," Eleven wrote.
However, this week she was told by IAG that her home was a repair.
Eleven told Tristram Clayton on Campbell Live last night that she was "inconsolable" and could not understand how two flats could be demolished and two repaired.
IAG told Campbell Live it would work with Lumley to find a solution as it was not "feasible" to demolish some adjoining flats and repair the others.
An IAG spokesman said today that the complexity of the four homes could act as a "case study" for the company.
IAG manager Phil Barclay said conversations with Lumley were ongoing and had begun before the issue was aired on Campbell Live last night.
"I'm not in a position to give you anything further at this stage," he said.