Policy confusion

Question from Diane updated on 31st August 2016:

We have a rental property that was badly damaged in the Christchurch earthquakes. The tenants moved out to the sleepout and we claimed the full loss of rent for a year.

We had a lump sum policy that rolled over between the two earthquakes. There was major confusion with our policy and two years ago EQC and our insurer still believed that we were only entitled to one event claim, and there SOW's reporting show major complicity.

Our house is a two storey 1940 Villa that is not economical to repair. However, EQC say they can pay $240,000 one cap payment for September, then only $45,000 for February. Even though our insurer knows they have further liability they say they cant help unless EQC bring February up to cap.

As our policy rolled over and was increased we can, hopefully, claim the full amount again, as the house will be written off. My guestion is do we have a claim for continued loss of rent due to this EQC/insurer debacle? Can we claim loss of interest also?


Our expert Myles Noble responded:

I am sorry to hear of your situation, particularly given it is now over five years since the two major earthquake events. Unfortunately, my experience is that we are still seeing new claims every month where EQC concede that claims are "over cap" and private Insurers are able to become involved. In situations where EQC maintain that a claim is under cap and you believe otherwise the best option is to ask your insurer for a "joint review" whereby both EQC and your insurer scope and price the work. These will often be considerably different and can provide a way forward for policy holders.

Myles Noble is head of claims and earthquake response for Crombie Lockwood. He also holds various advisory board positions in the insurance industry.

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