Case study: Jane
A Papanui couple say the Residential Advisory Service (RAS) was a much needed circuit breaker when progress with their home repair claim appeared to have ground to a halt.
Jane and David's double storey home sustained substantial structural damage in the February 2011 earthquake. Most significant was the displacement of the foundations.
They have been in disagreement with their insurer over a repair approach to the foundations since being supplied with a 120-page scope of works in November 2013.
Discussions with the insurer’s project manager and requests for copies of reports continued until August 2014.
"It then went quiet. We were getting nowhere, no response. Did we need to get our own engineer’s report? We didn’t know what we should do," says Jane.
A work colleague suggested they contact RAS.
On 8 December 2014 they met with a RAS Independent Advisor.
"We made sure we were well organised, brought all the correspondence and information we had and were clear about our issues."
The Independent Advisor reviewed the documentation. She undertook to contact their insurer about their responsibilities and refer their case to the RAS technical panel for peer-review.
Four days later, they heard back from the Independent Advisor including a response from the technical panel which provided recommendations and additional technical information.
A letter from Jane and David’s insurer arrived on 23 December 2014, indicating they had read the advice from the Independent Advisor along with the technical panel recommendations and acknowledging that there were other potential options for repairing the foundations.
Jane says, "We’ve got a way to go yet – our issues are far from being resolved – but we were amazed at what RAS achieved in just a couple of weeks compared with us over 10 months. Discussions with our insurer resumed, we feel we have direction and are moving forward. And, I have the confidence that if we encounter any more road blocks I could go back to RAS."