“Scratch any cynic and you will find a disappointed idealist.”
― George Carlin
This is CanCERN’s 50th – something of a milestone which we have mixed feelings about celebrating. We took a wee walk down memory lane and had a read of Newsletter #1 and it led us to find the quote above – we have come a long way and it’s not the way to nirvana apparently.
You’ll notice we have trimmed the newsletter right back. We hope it will still meet your needs.
Constructive feedback is always a good thing so feel free to send us a few lines for us to consider – it’s your newsletter.
Thanks to all the people who have used the newsletter as a tool to help us, to communicate and to share with others. Your support is important and encouragement have been deeply appreciated.
Brian and Leanne
TC3 Community Meeting Briefing
We attended a Community Board and community leaders briefing which have been put in place to seek feedback about the planned community meetings. Our very direct and poignant feedback
‘the resident’s needs were not clearly met or acknowledged, agency information was not coordinated, the presentation lacks dynamism, is filled with rhetoric ‘fluff’ and lacked clarity and detail…’
has led Roger Sutton to demand that the top 10 TC3 priority issues are identified and addressed at the community meetings.
Click here to read the Top 10 TC3 Priority Questions as at 10 August 2012. CERA is also collating this information from other sources so these 10 issues may not be the only ones addressed in the first series of community meetings.
Prime Minister John Key – Apparently John Key is entirely too busy to meet with us which is something of a frustration.
Top 10 TC3 Priority Questions as as 10 August 2012
The following questions have rated as the Top 10 for TC3 residents. This information is a mixture of what we have collated over time (and tested on residents in amongst other comments to be prioritised) and comments added to the TC3 residents Facebook page. Of course the questions are still general and other geographic specific questions would need to be answered depending on the meeting, but these questions continue to cause confusion and would be a good start.
Information – why are insurers and EQC not automatically sending homeowners a copy of all reports that relate to the property? Residents are having to use the Privacy Act and OIA to get this information and even then, at times the requests are delayed or denied.
Timeframes in TC3 are still vague – details need to be specific and demonstrate it is more than guess work – analysis of how many homes need to rebuilt or repaired and how many can be built at once. Indicative timeframes with no start date and lacking evidence of planning won’t be believed or accepted anymore. If there is a 75% / 25% split for houses which will be dealt with within 4 years or after a 4 year period, why and what is the maximum timeframe for each? Each insurer, including EQC will need to be able to present this information.
‘Land remediation’ is a term used in different ways by EQC and insurers. If people have land damage including lateral spreading, settlement, change, liquefaction under the house, etc, what can they expect will happen and who will do it? If there is a cash payout, how will that figure be calculated? EQC says TC3 repairs/rebuilds can start regardless of land damage and insurers say they are waiting on land damage information. Both must explain their position and residents must be given a clear understanding of why the two may have different liabilities.
The Drilling Programme – the following things need to be clarified:
Which insurers are part of the Programme and what does it mean for their customer’s progress?
The insurers that are not part of the Programme are doing what and what does this mean for their customer’s progress?
How does the drilling data help a resident progress if they have foundation damage but are not specifically drilled?
What information will people receive about the results of the drilling data from their property or from nearby properties that are used to inform the foundation designs of neighbouring houses?
When will the individual land reports be delivered and how will this information progress resident’s claims? This question relates to both the land damage reports and any other land reports insurers or EQC may be waiting on.
When will all insurers release their TC3 repair/rebuild plans which detail how they will prioritise, where they will be working, when and how residents will be informed, etc? If they do not plan to have such a thing in place, who will make sure the insurer is making appropriate progress?
What exactly will residents be offered if EQC deems the land uneconomic to rebuild on and will this work differently if the insurer deems it uneconomic to rebuild on the site? How does the formula work?
When will the new flood management plans be released to those residents affected and what are the ramifications of these likely to be for those that fall within this area? Is there likely to be a direct financial cost for the homeowner?
Why is EQC not paying out claims that have been declared over cap by EQC or an insurer? People in general (over cap and under the $15k threshold) are being told that they have to wait for a whole variety of reasons. One of the reasons is that there may be another event.
What can you do if you believe your land damage has been assessed incorrectly? The recently released EQC Land Reports are not always indicative of the land damage residents experienced. Residents are concerned that the incorrect damage assessment will result in a lesser land damage settlement that will not address the real damage. The Report also does not correlate with area wide red/green zonings so how can we have faith in the data assessment? Was the same data used?
Other things to note:
There is still great confusion around why it is taking so long to start the TC3 rebuild. People can’t understand why there are only 12 drilling rigs as this seems to be under-resourced. They also can’t understand why insurers and EQC would opt to repair houses in TC2 before more affected properties in TC3. I think the insurers and EQC have to lay their cards on the table and give all of the reasons why there will be delays. Things covered should be:
reinsurance and risk
lack of resource
lack of information
unresolved issues and processes
The other message that came through loud and clear is that some of these issues wouldn’t be issues if the communication from all involved was better. Residents have identified consistently that messaging is inconsistent within and across agencies, not timely, not released easily, uncoordinated, and too vague to be helpful. Above all, this needs to be addressed. The insurers talked about developing a coordinated communication plan. This should be done across the agencies./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
Parklands Older Generation Forum
Congratulations to John Patterson and Councillor Peter Beck for organising this well attended meeting last Friday. The insurers were confronted with the ‘faces’ of the people and it had an impact. CanCERN received good feedback from the insurers about the impact it had on their thinking. Simply that they want face to face clear communication from insurers to assist them, the elderly deal with their insurance companies.
Click here to read Chris Ryan, Insurance Council NZ CEO’s summary of what they heard.
CANTERBURY EARTHQUAKE RECOVERY
OLDER GENERATIONS FORUM No.2.
On Friday 3 August 2012, members of the insurance industry met the latest of the Older
Generations Forum. Insurers from companies including Lumley, IAG, Southern Response,
Vero and AA Insurance were joined by Insurance Council representatives, politicians and
Peter Beck and John Patterson. The Forum was chaired by Garry Moore.
On behalf of the insurers I’d like to thank Peter Beck and John Patterson for arranging the
A wide range of issues were raised by members and the very strong turnout indicated that
they remained concerned with the speed of response by insurers. In particular, however,
they identified the style of communication that they would appreciate from insurers to assist
the elderly deal with their insurance companies.
The meeting did not include the EQC and this was because the EQC will be the subject of
another meeting at a later date.
A very good exchange of views was expressed and at the end of the meeting insurers
thanked John Patterson and Peter Beck for the meeting and noted a number of key issues
which they undertook to respond to.
In particular the insurers indicated that the following points had been raised by the meeting.
The meeting asked:
• that insurers start considering issues for responding to the general public on the
basis of whether people are young, vulnerable, or elderly, and prioritising on that basis.
• that significant efforts be put into the Earthquake Commission / Insurer interface
and to resolve the difficulties and duplication between the responses of the EQC and
• that the preservation and protection of community be the basis of the response of the
insurance industry and awareness of the importance of community continuity be in place
at all times.
• The elderly at the meeting indicated that they preferred face to face meetings with
members. They indicated that while email and the information technology approach
may be the most preferred way for insurers, it was not the easiest for the elderly and that
they would prefer insurers to have face to face meetings. This would mean that insurers
should endeavour to put offices on the ground, or in accessible places, where the elderly
could attend in person. That, if possible, transport could be provided for the elderly who
were not able to travel on their own and wished to have a face to face meeting, and that
call centres could in fact have another option which would be for people wishing to speak
to a person about the details of their claim even if this took a little longer than the normal
• The meeting indicated that call centres remain critical, but the key issue there is the
ability to be able to converse properly between the insured elderly persons and the call
centre operators. While this may sometimes be a little difficult and more complicated
and take more time, this was an important process of the communication.
• The elderly at the meeting indicated they would like to see a resolution of the issues
of confusion over whether a claim is over or under the cap, and that insurers should work
with the EQC to try and resolve this as soon as possible.
• There was also a call for a need to highlight the fact that there are variations on the
status of the land inside TC3 and that much of the TC3 area, in fact possibly half of it, is
not damaged and is just in the zone or where rebuilds are possible. This was raised by
the meeting because of concerns about the future valuation of properties inside TC3.
• The elderly again re-confirmed the need for a more user-friendly voice from the
industry, and a specific approach for the elderly speaking to them. The elderly indicated
that home life, relationships, family, physical and mental health remain critically important
during this stressful time. They indicated there was a need for a resolution and speaking
the truth no matter how difficult it was. The elderly indicated they require honesty and
clarity going forward. Also if possible some timeframes should be explained to the
These were the key issues outlined to the meeting and it was agreed that there were other
issues, but the insurers undertook to action these.
The Insurance Council indicated they would take these matters directly to the insurance
companies and emphasise to them that this approach was important to address the
concerns of the elderly, and that all efforts should be made to try and implement as many of
them as soon as possible.
The Insurance Council also indicated that they would write this report for Peter Beck to
distribute to people via the Internet possibly, or a website, to ensure that the genuine efforts
of the insurance industry would be encouraged by the Insurance Council to implement the
issues raised by the group in Parklands.
While media reports on the meeting indicated there was a significant degree of conflict, the
observation by many who attended saw a constructive engagement of views and exchange
of information which assisted many people, and a genuine commitment from the insurance
industry to respond to the concerns of the elderly./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
Nicki Goss a manager from CETAS presented information on accommodation, financial support for accommodation and how to access support from the community coordinators – Click here to access their web page and click here to access her powerpoint presentation (if this link doesn’t work we didn’t receive it in time for sending with this newsletter and it will be available next week)./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
Southern Response side steps deadlocks with EQC
Southern Response was applauded this week by a resident for taking a definitive leadership role and bypassing the deadlock between EQC and Southern Response for the sake of the resident and allowing them to move on.
‘I was informed by my insurer that they were waiting no longer for E.Q.C to come to the party and were announcing the extraordinary step of taking ownership of our claim.We have since received our decision pack and have visited in person our Insurer to ask if their action was actually real. It is in fact very real and an outstanding result for us.’
CanCERN would like to support this applause and challenges the other insurers to step up to the plate and do the same. We have sent this information to the Insurance Council for them to table at their joint insurer/EQC meetings. Simply click here to read the letter we received and understand that this move by Southern Response is a game changer./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
Deed of Assignment
We have forwarded onto the lawyer the documents provided by some residents affected by the Deed of Assignment interpretation issues. The purpose of this is to understand if residents have a legal position.
CanCERN also intends to request that Temporary Accommodation Assistance (TAA) recognise the special circumstance of those who have been misinformed and caught out by this situation and adjust the eligibility criteria accordingly./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
Click here to read a helpful 2 page fact sheet about what the Ombudsman can investigate with regard to EQC complaints and how you go about actioning this./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>