16 Aug 2019

Southern Response 'misleading, deceptive' - court ruling

From Checkpoint, 5:08 pm on 16 August 2019

"Misleading & deceptive" - that's how the High Court has described the behaviour of Southern Response - the state owned quake insurer.

And it could cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. In a ruling released today the court found Southern Response failed to act in a fair and transparent way and breached its duty of good faith in dealing with Christchurch couple Karl and Alison Dodds, whose quake damaged house was written off.

Southern Response gave the Dodds an edited version of a cost assessment for rebuilding their house. That abridged assessment was tens of thousands of dollars less than the full estimate - which the insurer kept secret from them. The couple unwittingly settled on the lesser figure in 2013 - meaning they were shortchanged almost $200,000.

Now the court has ordered Southern Response to pay up.

Lisa Owen asks their lawyer, Peter Woods about his reaction to the court's finding.