Insurers report progress on settling claims

8:51 pm on 4 November 2013

Insurers involved in claims from the Canterbury earthquakes say they have completed 87% of residential property claims.

Data collected by the Earthquake Recovery Authority shows that 21,250 of the 24,660 claims involving amounts over the Earthquake Commission's $100,000 cap were completed, or a resolution was in progress, as at 1 October.

Insurance Council chief executive Tim Grafton says insurers resolved and completed about 1800 dwelling claims in the three months to October.

Insurers say almost all claims over the EQC cap will be completed by the end of 2015, and about 3% may take an additional year to wrap up.

Land settlement and remediation, available geo-technical data and speed of consenting are holding up some claims, and an additional factor is the unidentified number of properties that may change to being over the cap in the coming months.

But insurance litigator Duncan Webb says stating 11,250 of those claims are in progress is misleading.

He says the term 'in progress' doesn't provide any detail of the timeframe in which the claim will be settled.

"All that means is they have taken a first step in the settlement process, so they know how they're going to resolve the claim but there's absolutely no detail about when they will resolve the claim."

He says the figures show that many claims aren't going to be resolved for many years yet.