Quake claims advisory service set to open

7:58 am on 17 May 2013

A service to provide Canterbury insurance policyholders with advice about their earthquake claims is to finally open on Thursday, but a government funded advocacy service appears out of the question for now.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said in Christchurch on Wednesday the advisory service will furnish people with information about their insurance claim from an independent adviser.

Mr Brownlee expects the service, which is partially funded by insurance companies, will help resolve many ongoing disputes.

Christchurch City Council has decided to go ahead with an advocacy service, which will also give insurance policyholders independent representation in disputes.

Mr Brownlee says an advocacy service will inevitably delay settlements.

Insurer settles third of claims

Government-owned insurance company Southern Response says it has settled about a third of earthquake-related claims on its books.

Gerry Brownlee announced the latest data from the company on Wednesday, saying it is proof that progress to settle claims and rebuild homes is ramping up.

Southern Response is responsible for more than 6500 earthquake-related claims - about a third of all major residential quake claims.

Mr Brownlee said Southern Response, which is settling cliams for AMI policyholders, has provided certainty for Canterbury residents during a time when AMI was under threat of collapse.

The insurer said it expects to settle its final claim by the end of 2016.