How RAS works

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What is RAS?

This service assists property owners whose homes have been damaged by the Canterbury earthquakes.

RAS provides the option of a face to face meeting with a broker to talk through any issues you may be having with your rebuild or repair. The broker then has the ability to call a round-table meeting with key individuals involved in your claim. These people will have authority to settle claims. The round-table ensures (through the brokers) that all parties understand their position on the claim.

Homeowners can bring support people with them to these meetings, and to any meetings with brokers as well.

If your situation has technical aspects it may be referred, for review, to the RAS independent technical panel which comprises professionals from a range of independent specialist engineering areas including quantity surveying, geotechnical services and structural engineering.

How can the service help?

The service helps those home owners who may be feeling overwhelmed, confused or in disagreement over their repair or rebuild and to find the best way to deal with these challenges.

Our brokers will work with you to try and achieve progress for your own personal situation. This may be through the provision of advice to give you confidence in your situation or more involved engagement with your Insurer or the Earthquake Commission.

If the service is not able to help it can connect you to other services that may be able to assist you.

You may still find the help you need from other support and assistance that is available.

Preparing for your meeting with a Broker

Before you meet face-to-face with a Broker, think about how you might answer these questions.

  • What is the real issue you want to sort out?
  • Do you have all the information that is needed to deal with the issue?
  • What do you want to achieve?
  • What action can you take to help deal with the issue? 

If you can’t answer all of these questions, don’t worry – the Broker will work through them with you.

    Checklist for meeting

    When you first meet with the Broker, you may need to bring:

    • your RAS consent form, signed by all property owners or trustees on the property title
    • a council rates demand or your property title
    • your trust deed (or deeds) if the property is owned by a trust
    • your insurance policy including your policy number that was in place at the time of the event(s)
    • scope of works or any other documents you have received, including your claim number (or numbers)
    • any other relevant paperwork or communications that you have from anyone else involved in this issue.

    Which documents you need to bring will depend on your particular circumstances. If you are unsure of what to bring, check with RAS to find out which documents the broker will need to help progress your situation more quickly.

    Frequently asked questions

    How can RAS help me?

    This service aims to help property owners to work through the challenges they are facing or find the best way to make progress in getting their home repaired or rebuilt. You may simply need some expert advice if you are experiencing difficulty making decisions or you may benefit from having a meeting with a broker and all the parties involved in the issue.

    Is there any restriction on getting assistance from RAS?

    There are some situations where RAS cannot assist you. If you have filed legal proceedings against your insurer (if insurance related),or engaged with the Insurance and Savings Ombudsman . In these situations RAS is not the service for you. However, if you are considering any of these options you should consider approaching RAS in the first instance to discuss yoursituation .

    How are the Brokers qualified to help me?

    All RAS Brokers have extensive experience operating in the earthquake environment assisting people, in various capacities, to achieve progress and resolution with their issues or claims.. They can advise and guide you so that you can make progress in getting your home repaired or rebuilt.

    What can I expect when I meet with a Broker?

    When you first meet with a Broker, they’ll help define what your particular issue is and look at the documents you have brought on your issue.. If the broker needs further information, they may ask you to get it and bring it to another meeting. In some cases the Broker may go directly to the insurer or EQC on your behalf to get the information. They can only do this if you’ve signed a consent form giving them the authority.

    Can the Broker advise on technical issues in my case?

    The Broker isn't a technical expert, they can ask a panel of qualified professionals for advice and guidance on specific technical queries.. The panel comprises professionals from a range of independent specialist engineering areas including quantity surveying, geotechnical services and structural engineering.

    How can the technical panel help?

    The technical panel will guide and assist the Brokers to determine the appropriateness of technical information provided by homeowners and recommend actions to help resolve claims. They will not provide new design solutions but, where necessary, they will provide sufficient evidence to support any alternative advice provided.

    What is a round-table meeting?

    A round-table meeting is a meeting of a property owner, the other party or parties involved in the dispute or issue and a broker. Its aim is to move the parties towards a solution. Anyone may withdraw from the meeting at any time as it is not mediation or an arbitration hearing. When is a round-table meeting helpful?

    If the Broker feels that in your situation it would help if all of the parties came together to sort out the issues, then they’ll recommend having a round-table meeting.

    Will my insurer penalise me for using RAS? Will using it cause a delay?

    Insurers have agreed to participate in this service in good faith. The service will be evaluated to check that it is actually helping property owners to make progress towards their repair or rebuild. The service is aimed at trying to speed up your resolution.

    What happens if I’m not happy with the outcome I get from using RAS?

    If RAS cannot sort out all of your issues, the Broker will tell you about other options for progressing them further.

    If this service doesn’t resolve my issue, will you pay for services I get from anyone else?

    If RAS has not sorted out all of your issues, the Broker will refer you to other services or agencies for further help. You’ll need to pay for any costs that these services or agencies charge. However, the Broker will also let you know about any financial advice or assistance that may be available for you.

    Why is RAS evolving to a brokering model?

    RAS has always evolved to meet the needs and situations of its clients, for instance technical panel was added to provide specialist advice on structural and geotechnical engineering and quantity surveying. Fairway Resolutions and Property Pathways were added to help with facilitation services. This is the next logical step.

    Legal and technical advice is still an important aspect of the service provided to homeowners and will continue to be used to support brokers and homeowners