(Our first post is all about IAG cash settlements.)
To be honest, there are loads of things we would love to change in this recovery and we don’t think it’s too late either. We would love to change the lack of leadership in this residential recovery space. That’s not likely to happen so we may just need to create leadership opportunities instead. We would love to change the lack of coordination. That also is not likely to happen any time soon so best we get on with creating that leadership and make the first priority strategy and coordination. We would love to change the way the agencies (continue to) communicate. It’s not rocket science – get to know the people behind the claim!
The list could go on but one thing we have been taught by the agencies in this recovery is that just talking about things doesn’t make them happen… so enough said on that particular matter.
Change on a positive note:
- The newsletter is coming out on a Monday from now on – the main reason being that Fridays have gotten far too busy for us. We want to make sure we’ve got enough time to make the newsletter the best it can be. Technology also tells us that many of you read it on a Monday anyway, so for you folks not a lot will change. If you’ve got major issues with a Monday newsletter do let us know. As always, we’ll upload posts to Facebook as they’re published, so if you want information first then like our page.
- The In the Know Hub is getting real (as opposed to a shimmering wish in the distant horizon). Hopefully by next week we can announce the who, the when and the where.
- CanCERN is going to be here for a little while longer thanks to the members voting to extend the sunset clause. For how much longer will depend on need but legally and constitutionally, we are now here beyond April 2015.
IAG cash settlements
What a turbulent time for IAG customers as they hear (through social media or the media) that Project Management Office Hawkins is out and cash settlements are in. We have fed back to IAG that we are deeply concerned about the way they have approached this change and have asked that from here on they are more cognizant of the head space of their customers.
Granted, some will be happy and see this as a good opportunity to get on more quickly. Others will be annoyed, however, the most concerning group to us are those that are in panic mode. Unfortunately, by not front footing this announcement, IAG has left people with little information about how these cash settlements will look in practice.
We know from experience that where there are information gaps conspiracies, rumours and venting fill the void and this becomes a kind of truth to those who are seeking answers to questions. This is bad form and the approach shows a complete lack of empathy for those who are exhausted and anxious. IAG have heard that loud and clear so we hope that open communication with affected customers is what will follow.
This is a long post but a lack of information has been the biggest stressor for IAG customers so we we pull together what we have as we get it. In this post you can read:
- Temporary Accommodation Assistance information
- Customer comments and questions
- Lawyer Duncan Webb’s cash settlement overview
- IAG Q&A
- IAG cash settlement fact sheets
- A word of warning from a quantity surveyor – click here
We are also following up with various agencies on a few related concerns and hope to be able to feedback quickly.
- As one insurer heads to cash settle most of their customers, surely others will follow so what does the insurance settlement environment look like for all Canterbury people who have not yet settled?
- What is the current state of capacity for residential repair and rebuild? Will homeowners even be able to find someone to do the work anytime soon?
Our biggest piece of advice – call your claims specialist and ask them to explain what this means for you. If you are on their vulnerability list, make sure you get the information and support you need. It also seems a time time to remember that there are support services out there as well so check it out here.
Clarifying Temporary Accommodation Assistance eligibility
Green Zone homeowners who have been cash settled are eligible for Temporary Accommodation Assistance when they have exhausted their insurance accommodation cover and if they meet all other criteria. Whilst red zone homeowners have not been eligible from the time they have received full settlement from both the Crown and the private insurer, the circumstances are different for those repairing and rebuilding in the green zone.
IAG intends to settle your entitlement to accommodation cover in bulk with your property and contents cover. It is important to know that Canterbury Earthquake Temporary Accommodation Service (CETAS) will assess how long your entitlement was meant to have lasted and will start any payments (if eligible). For a lot more information about CETAS and eligibility prior to accepting a cash settlement please click here or phone 0800 673 227.
Customer comments and questions
The following are some of the messages we have heard from customers so far and have passed onto IAG:
- This was an incredibly stressful and unsettling way for us to find out we would be cash settled.
- Please contact everyone and let them know where they stand and what this means for them individually.
- We are stressed that all unknown costs will now fall to us and we don’t have extra money to cover shortfalls should the cash settlement be wrong.
- This looks like a money saving scheme. How are we meant to have confidence?
- Making us wait for so long and then telling us we are cash settling is unfair and wrong. We are hurting and trust is low.
- Will policyholders who have started design via their PMO, but not yet at contract stage, remain in managed repair?
- How does this affect the multi unit dwellings?
- Do IAG have a set of criteria to establish who meets vulnerable status and qualifies to remain in managed reinstatement? If so what are the criteria?
- Will there be free independent legal advice or advocacy and information for property owners facing these cash payouts to ensure they are aware of their correct entitlements on settling?
- How can IAG cash settle when it doesn’t know all the rebuild costs? i.e. for our property the rebuild foundation costs can’t be established until the house is demolished and the house cannot be demolished until IAG agrees to replicate it within the terms of the policy. Also retaining wall costs can’t be established until EQC (under land damage) and IAG (under our home policy) agree their respective coverage of each wall and then properly assess the damage and repair or replacement cost.
- Will they put a clause in to say in addition to the cash settlement should there be further, but not limited to, engineering and council requirements for TC3 land remediation and foundation requirements they will pay for these including but not limited to design and actual build?
- Will IAG provide policyholders with partial settlements to cover any unknown variations and the risk associated with foundation solutions following demolition and possible identification of variable ground conditions?
- If you don’t sign for full and final payment, will they still pay?
- Will IAG require DOA for land claim as part of the cash settlement agreement when providing costs for enhanced foundations (as referred to in their response to Question 128 In The Know): “Dependent on the repair strategy recommended for your home IAG may incur additional costs to remediate the land under your home or driveway or add enhanced foundations. Therefore IAG will require part or all of your land settlement from EQC. IAG asks customers to sign a deed of assignment so that any future payments made by EQC will be assigned directly to IAG. IAG will only use the funds relating to the damaged parts of the home they are repairing and will refund the remaining amount to the customer. If you have questions about your EQC land claim, you will need to discuss these directly with EQC.”
- Will IAG price settlements for rebuilds on realistic costs for using builders who have the capacity and capability to actually carry out the builds in a timely and competent manner, rather than using the pricing of the large group build companies, who appear to have in many cases failed to deliver rebuilds on time and/or quality?
- In particular, for foundation issues, will IAG allow in the cash settlements for all the costs as determined in the Avonside Holdings vs Southern Response case or will homeowners still need to take them to court to get a fair entitlement under their policy?
- Will IAG provide for Project Management costs in cash settlements? ie the fees that up to now they have paid Hawkins?
- What happens to insurance premiums moving from full replacement to sum insured during the cash settlement process?
- Will IAG provide all cash settled policyholders with an undertaking as to renewed cover once the homeowner has undertaken reinstatement?
Lawyer Duncan Webb’s take on IAG’s cash settlements
IAG Cash Settlement Q&A
Settling Your Earthquake Insurance Claim (flyer)
Settling Your Earthquake Insurance Claim (fact sheet)/************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
In the mayor’s chair – Long Term Plan submissions
This is a really important document to consider and a difficult conversation for the city to have at this time. The Council doesn’t have all the information they need to provide absolutes but this is what we have to work with currently. Be constructive in your feedback people – we need to put energy into workable and innovative solutions.
MEDIA RELEASE – March 17
Christchurch City Council today launched a six week campaign to get public feedback on its Long Term Plan.
Deputy Mayor Vicki Buck says it is vital that residents take the opportunity to have a say over the future of the city during the public consultation period which ends at midday on Tuesday, 28 April.
“This is potentially Christchurch’s most important budget ever. The Long Term Plan consultation document includes a proposal to sell $750 million worth of our commercial assets to help cover a $1.2 billion funding shortfall and we need to know whether we have residents’ backing to take this step.
“The Plan also includes a major shift to cycling and public transport, as well as changes to the Central City and a lot of new and replacement community facilities. We want to know if what’s proposed is right for you, your family and your neighbourhood.
“We’ve tried to make it really easy to make a submission so you can do it online, or put pen to paper. We’re holding public meetings across the city over the coming weeks so residents can talk through the issues with elected members, and we’ll welcome tweets or discussion via comments on the Council’s Facebook page.”
The Council is also running “Mayor in the Chair” sessions where members of the public can sit in the Mayor’s chair in the Council Chamber and talk to Councillors about the Long Term Plan.
Deputy Mayor Buck says the “Mayor in the Chair” sessions will run from midday until 2pm on Wednesday, 25 March, Friday, 27 March and Wednesday, 1 April.
“It’ll be very relaxed, there’s no need to book, and councillors will be come along to hear what you have to say during your turn in the ‘hot seat.’ “
How to have your say on the Long Term Plan 2015-25
· go online at www.ccc.govt.nz/LTP to make a submission
· present a petition in support of a submission
· fill out submission forms available from Council libraries and service centres, or by phoning 03 941 8999 or 0800 800 169
· speak to elected members at community meetings or during “Mayor in the Chair” sessions
· share your views on the Christchurch City Council Facebook page which will regularly introduce new LTP topics for discussion
· tweet with #CCCLTP
Comments made on Facebook, Twitter, at community meetings and during “Mayor in the Chair” will be included in the feedback presented to the Council, but they will not be treated as formal submissions.
Councillors will consider all the submissions and comments before they adopt the Plan in June 2015.
Free earthquake counselling sessions extended
Great news, free earthquake counselling sessions have been extended. Call the Canterbury Support Line on 0800 777 846 to find out about counselling or access to other support services for you or your family.
MEDIA RELEASE – 18 March 2015
Petersgate Counselling Centre is thrilled to advise you that we are able to accept new clients for fully subsidised Earthquake Counselling sessions.
The confirmation of further funding from the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch and the Ministry of Social Development via their contract with Relationships Aotearoa has made it possible for Petersgate to continue to provide free Earthquake Counselling. We’re tremendously grateful to these organisations for their support and for the good relationship we enjoy with them.
We’ve all read reports that state that the continuing disruption and associated impacts on wellbeing following a natural disaster of the kind experienced in Christchurch are expected to be part of our lives for the next three years or more, and that some residual needs are likely to remain for many more years.
Our own experience and that of other agencies, along with the reliable evidence base these reports draw on, provides a convincing argument for the ongoing provision of free Earthquake Counselling to support people through the various stages of the city’s slow recovery.
The Earthquake Counselling interventions provided by our highly trained and experienced team of counsellors assist individuals, couples and families to better deal with the challenges they face because of the earthquakes and their multifarious after-effects.
People interested in accessing this service can self-refer for an assessment or be referred by a medical practice, government department, or community agency.
Please note that these fully subsidised Earthquake Counselling sessions are available only while funding is in place and that clients need to meet the funders’ criteria to qualify.
For more information email Petersgate’s Director Geoff King at email@example.com or call (03) 343-3391.