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Bid to rebuild home a nightmare

MARC GREENHILL
Last updated 05:00 29/05/2013

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Christchurch Earthquake 2011

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A two-year rebuild battle has become a "nightmare" John Brussovs wishes he could wake up from.

The Christchurch homeowner is locked in a stalemate with his insurer over the rebuild of his earthquake-damaged New Brighton home, which was demolished more than a year ago.

His house collapsed in the February 2011 quake and his family have since been living in temporary accommodation.

Brussovs said he felt "railroaded at every avenue" after five failed attempts to finalise rebuild plans.

"The [insurance company] has drawn up proposals and then rejected them themselves," he said.

"We've been through three different draughtspeople and we've had five different sets of plans drawn by them and by us. They've rejected ours unpriced and not even considered [it]."

His land was technical category 2 land, meaning it did not require the detailed foundation designs delaying many TC3 rebuilds.

"They won't commit to saying, ‘Yes, this is what we propose to build for you'. It's just a joke."

Brussovs said the rebuild had been agreed to more than two years ago.

A suggestion he accepts a cash payout of $175,000 was rejected.

The most recent rebuild cost estimate was "way in excess" of earlier estimates, he said.

"They want us to accept a miserable offer of $175,000, less the payment of $100,000 by [the Earthquake Commission], so we come out with $75,000 for the rebuild of a two-storey house."

Brussovs did not believe his input had slowed progress.

He had disagreed with proposals because both parties expected the new house would be "exactly as we had".

It was a battle just to have the house rebuilt on the same position on the section, he said.

"Everything is take it or leave it. I said at the last meeting I'll leave it. At no point have we delayed the process. We've bent over backwards."

Brussovs said he did not expect the rebuild process to be so difficult. His file on the insurance wrangle ran more than 1000 pages.

"This been an absolute nightmare for our family. I never thought it would be like this."

It was likely the rebuild was at least a year away, he said.

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