Only 1,500 claims not settled in Christchurch not 10,000

June 12th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Insurance Council points out:

Insurers involved in the Canterbury earthquake recovery have 22,455 over cap dwelling claims with 87% fully settled or agreed with customers.

Based on figures collected in the CERA quarterly survey, at the end of March 2014 there were 9,877 (44%) dwelling claims closed and completely settled.

“There is a further 9,755 (43%) which CERA refers to as ‘pending settlement’, which essentially means the insurance company has reached an agreement with their customer and is in the process of being settled, so contrary to what Mr Cosgrove suggests there is no dispute,” says Insurance Council spokesman Samson Samasoni.

“Pending settlement means that there are builders on site completing the rebuild or repair, it’s scheduled for a rebuild or repair or they’re waiting to receive their cash settlement. Insurers don’t call it ‘completely settled’ until the key to the front door has been handed over or the cheque is banked,” he says.

Mr Cosgrove says that ‘sending an offer to a claimant is not settlement’.

“Our members don’t call that a settlement either. There are 1,508 over cap dwelling claims in that category, where the insurer has made their customer an offer but the insured hasn’t made a decision, many are saying it’s because they’re waiting to know what their land settlement is going to be from EQC before making a decision,” says Mr Samasoni. “We anticipate that there may be small percentage of this 1,508 that will end up in some form of dispute”.

So the actual numbers that go to court will probably be low hundreds.

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13 Responses to “Only 1,500 claims not settled in Christchurch not 10,000”

  1. rouppe (983 comments) says:

    When I went to school 87% of claims settled means 13% not settled.

    13% of 22455 is 2919.15

    In addition 22455 – 9877 – 9755 = 2823

    Where did 1500 come from? Maybe it’s 1500 offers made but that leaves 1323 with no offer made.

    There are nearly 3000 claims with people still hanging. Still a long way from 10000 but if you’re going to complain about accuracy it doesn’t help not being accurate

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  2. Than (511 comments) says:

    rouppe, from the last couple of paragraphs;

    Mr Cosgrove says that ‘sending an offer to a claimant is not settlement’. Our members don’t call that a settlement either. There are 1,508 over cap dwelling claims in that category, where the insurer has made their customer an offer but the insured hasn’t made a decision

    Those 1508 would be part of the 2919 you calculated, leaving ~1300-1400 unsettled claims where the insurance company has not made the customer an offer. So of the 22455 claims the numbers would be;

    9877 (44%) claims completely closed and settled
    9755 (43%) claims settled and agreed by both parties, but work/payments are still going on
    1508 (6.7%) claims where insurer has made an offer, but insuree has not yet accepted
    1300-1400 (5.8 – 6.2%) claims where no offer has yet been made

    …with the last two combined making up to the 13% not settled.

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  3. SPC (5,664 comments) says:

    Thus the prospect of an Earthquake Court being over run with cases is not as high as first feared.

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  4. freethinker (677 comments) says:

    Frankly I do not believe the figures and I understand that Mr Samson Samasoni. has a dubious record of integrity in the Middle East!!!!!! The Insurance industry has the most appalling record of delay deny & deceit in its dealing with Christchurch Quake claims and I predict the litigation of faulty repairs by the industry and EQC will fester for decades as the shoddy and inadequate repairs show up when purchasers do due diligence and their engineers & builders reveal the flaws in quake repairs. The industry has over promised and under delivered consistently and selectively used figures to back up their claims of rebuilds etc, insurance .org did a survey in Mt Pleasant by a Statistician living there showing no rebuilds and Tim Grafton then says thats wrong but fails to produce any credible evidence to support his statement. There are several hundred cases currently listed for hearing in the Christchurch special quake courts, there is a class action against Southern (No) response (AMI) so I suspect this reflects the tip of an iceberg. Perhaps the industry will produce real figures and i will ask Inusrance .org to do another survey as a gauge as their membership will only reflect a small proportion of claims, if I am wrong I will happily buy Tim & Samson a drink.

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  5. freethinker (677 comments) says:

    SPC (5,173 comments) says:
    June 12th, 2014 at 8:08 am
    The court has hundreds of cases listed with very few actual decisions but many discontinued which often means insurers have settled on a basis that not being public is no precedent for others and may contain sums for interest on delayed settlement or for breach of contract. It is not surprising that some of the cases have been in progress for over a year with no apparent result which does lead to a widely held view in Christchurch that the whole Insurance industry is acting in collusion by adopting the same policy of delay and tactics to frustrate claimants into accepting settlement of less than the policy promised and the court process which was supposed to speed things up has totally failed as have the legal profession and judiciary in holding to account the insurers, the distrust generated will have profound effects.

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  6. Pongo (374 comments) says:

    7 of those claims are mine and I am waiting on engineers not insurers because they are complicated and on rubbish land, the insurers have been great in copping the cost of the reports as we work together to a repair methodology. The latest holdup is the stupid council decided to change the fire regs from what were some of the toughest on earth to a ridiculously high level (for a concrete block building). When they change the rules we have to spend a month waiting to find out if they apply to repairs as its a bit arbitrary.
    I did a UMR focus group a few weeks ago and despite the very good survey guy trying to steer us towards blaming big Gerry everyone in the room blamed the council. If Cunliffe wants to make any progress down here he needs to throw Dalziel under the bus rather than making up policy on the plane trip down which is frankly insulting and sums up how totally useless and uninterested Cosgrove, Dyson and Potato are.

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  7. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Until you’ve got that money in your hot little hands, nothing is settled.
    Anyone that believes otherwise is either a fool or a politician.

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  8. SPC (5,664 comments) says:

    freethinker, I was referring to the Labour proposal for a new court. DPF was worried a new court might be swamped with cases.

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  9. rouppe (983 comments) says:

    Than:

    So “not settled” includes
    1) claims where insurer has made an offer, but insuree has not yet accepted
    2) claims where no offer has yet been made

    So the resulting number isn’t 1500, it is 3000-odd. That is what the headline number should be

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  10. burt (7,423 comments) says:

    The amount of our money Labour will spend campaigning on this policy will probably exceed the cost of settling them. but it’s about getting better poll results and when the tax payers are paying – why not spend it.

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  11. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    Thus the prospect of an Earthquake Court being over run with cases is not as high as first feared.

    Yes – unless the Govt starts fully funding people to bring claims, no matter how frivolous.

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  12. Jinky (190 comments) says:

    David, In the article you highlight it clearly says there are 9755 which are “pending settlement”. AFAIK that would mean they are not settled because if they were settled they’d be counted as settled? That kind of makes your headline “wrong”

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  13. goldnkiwi (1,611 comments) says:

    Judith (6,522 comments) says:

    June 12th, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Even works with ‘in full and final settlement’, that doesn’t necessarily mean settled either.

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