Quake group considers legal action against insurer

5:21 pm on 23 May 2012

A group of Christchurch residents considering taking legal action against State Insurance has had about 50 people join its ranks since advertising for support in a local paper on Wednesday.

Ten residents, mainly from the eastern suburb of Parklands, are frustrated by delays with their earthquake insurance claims.

They have employed lawyers to explore what action could be taken if their problems can't be resolved through negotiations.

GCA Lawyers say they are concerned that others in the area with different insurers are receiving settlements on quake-related claims while they struggle to gain momentum with State.

Partner Grant Cameron says some residents have not heard from the company in 15 months.

Mr Cameron says the group is urging other residents with State Insurance to come forward so more information can be gathered about how it deals with claims.

However, Ian Opray, the manager of earthquake response for the Insurance and Savings Ombudsman, says while insurers are expected to fulfil certain good faith obligations, people should not forget the strain they are under.

"Without trying to defend the insurers in this, that would apply under normal circumstances. But we're dealing with a massive event which is still ongoing. So I think you've got to cut a little bit of slack there."

IAG, the company that owns State Insurance, says it is surprised by the possible action and is meeting with the group on Friday.