4 Sep 2014

Council expects most private claims resolved by 2016

8:43 pm on 4 September 2014

The Insurance Council of New Zealand says nearly all of Christchurch's residential private insurance claims will be resolved in two years' time.

Today marks four years since the first major earthquake shook Canterbury, damaging and destroying thousands of residential properties in Christchurch.

The council's chief executive, Tim Grafton, says more than 90 percent of private residential claims have been resolved and expects that the rest should be taken care of by 2016.

Mr Grafton said while the commercial recovery will take much longer, 80 percent of those claims have been paid, which equates to $8 billion of commercial settlements.

The Minister responsible for the Earthquake Commission, Gerry Brownlee, says two repair milestones have been reached.

The Canterbury Home Repair Programme has reached $2 billion in net payments to contractors since quake repairs began in October 2010. The programme has just achieved its 60,000th fully completed repair, leaving just under 10,000 to go.

Meanwhile, National says the Labour Party must stop twisting the facts about quake insurance in the South Island city.

Gerry Brownlee said claims from Labour leader David Cunliffe that 10,000 Christchurch property owners are in some sort of limbo is an outrageous exaggeration, as most Cantabrians whose homes were damaged are well on track to resolution of their insurance issues.

'Hopelessly optimistic' about rebuild

A Canterbury business leader says people will look back on the earthquake rebuild and realise they were hopelessly optimistic about the speed of recovery.

Peter Townsend, the chief executive of the Canterbury Chambers of Commerce, says with about $4.5 billionof repairs completed, Christchurch is only 10 percent into the $50 billion dollar rebuild.

Mr Townsend said the rebuild has been constrained by ongoing aftershocks and insurance issues. He said it would take about seven years to replace Christchurch's housing stock, and 20 years to rebuild the central city.