Insurance claimants treated 'inconsistently'

6:48 pm on 21 April 2012

A Christchurch residents association says insurance companies are treating homeowners' earthquake claims differently even when their circumstances and policies are largely the same.

The majority of claims have yet to be settled, especially in areas of the city where there is doubt about the stability of the land.

A spokesperson for the Ferrymead Brookhaven residents association David Stringer says they have formed cluster groups based on the insurance company a person is with.

He says they have uncovered inconsistencies in the way people are being dealt with by certain companies.

Mr Stringer says the clusters ensure everybody in a similar situation is armed with the information they need to progress their claim successfully.

He says the cluster groups' existence can also benefit insurance companies when it comes to communicating with policy holders.

Federation of groups wanted

The group behind Council Watch wants residents' groups in Christchurch to form a federation, to ensure they are heard.

Almost half of the 80 groups met on Saturday to share ideas and come up with ways to work together.

Organiser Jarrod Coburn says the views of residents' associations are being drowned out by various experts and politicians and it is time these groups were recognised for their work.

He says a federation would empower the groups and would also allow for concerns to be expressed to the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority and the Earthquake Commission, instead of these organisations being bombarded with complaints and questions from different quarters.