Breakthrough – an update


What is it again?
Breakthrough is a service we run with Southern Response customers whose claims are stuck for any number of reasons. Sometimes they’re not even stuck, but with some additional support they are able to progress in a way that leaves the homeowner feeling more confident. It’s a facilitation service rather than an advocacy service. We don’t negotiate for a specific claim outcome because we’re not lawyers, quantity surveyors or engineers.

We are, however, able to facilitate a safe discussion where homeowners can have the conversation they need to have with the right people at Southern Response. The meetings are safe because we remove the ‘us and them’ approach. There is one collective aim – to understand where the claim is at from the homeowner’s perspective and what needs to happen for the claim to progress to the next stage. With any Breakthrough meeting we make sure there are action points at the end that are agreed by everyone; this ensures homeowners always have some progress going forward.

Breakthrough has been running since the end of last year and has relied on homeowners coming to us for help. The feedback we have received from homeowners revealed, it’s been working well – every person involved has made progress of some kind.

So what’s the latest?
CanCERN’s extremely generous philanthropic funding from the Todd, Tindall, and Hugh Green Foundations is coming to an end after nearly five years. What that means is we have been left with a choice: stop Breakthrough altogether, or continue the programme via an independent contract with Southern Response. The results have spoken for themselves and the need for independent facilitation in the insurance settlement area is more apparent than ever. This is why we have chosen the latter and have a short term contract which allows us to target our support more directly.

Why is Southern Response contracting Breakthrough?
Southern Response wants their customers to have the support they need to work through their claims. They have always encouraged homeowners to seek independent support from services such and Earthquake Support Coordinators and Residential Advisory Service. Breakthrough is an additional support they are keen for their customers to use if it can be helpful.

Is there a conflict of interest?
Some might perceive it that way, but for us, the service we are providing hasn’t changed as a result of the contracting situation. The homeowner shares as much or as little information with us as they choose, we facilitate the meeting based on what it is they need to discuss, and the information shared with Southern Response is all validated by the homeowner. Impartiality and transparency are key. This kind of funding arrangement is also pretty common for independent facilitation industry-wide.

Want to know more?
Give Marcus Irvine a yell on 027 304 8092 or send him a quick email at