7 Aug 2014

Insurance settlement claims questioned

7:00 am on 7 August 2014

The latest figures released by insurance companies processing earthquake claims are misrepresentative according to insurance claimants in Christchurch.

Liquefaction in the Christchurch red zone.

Liquefaction in the Christchurch red zone. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

The Insurance Council of New Zealand said companies have settled 66 percent of residential claims in the quake-hit region since 2010 and have paid $4.4 billion in settlements to Canterbury homeowners.

The Insurance Council also said insurers had reached the halfway mark by fully settling 11,392 residential claims that are over the $100,000 EQC cap.

But one claimant, chartered accountant Cameron Preston, said those figures would look different if they did not include the 9,000 houses that were red zoned and whose owners were forced to accept a Government offer to buy.

"It forced a lot of people to take cash settlements, so of the 50 percent that are settled, at least 25 percent of those are from red zone cash settlement."

And he said some of the 26,000 claims still outstanding with the Earthquake Commission are also yet to be handed to private insurers.