Quake homeowners urged to seek confirmation of limitation period

The Residential Advisory Services recommends homeowners with damage from the 2011 Christchurch earthquake seek confirmation from their insurer how the Limitation Act will apply to their specific claim,  as many insurers have extended beyond the six-year limitation period.

Almost seven years on from the 2011 Christchurch earthquake and some homeowners may feel pressured to act quickly to ensure their rights are not diminished on the basis of the Limitations Act.

To avoid unnecessary fees, homeowners should contact their insurer or EQC to confirm how they will deal with the limitation period for their claim before engaging with legal firms or advocacy services. Most insurers have already extended the deadline they will invoke the limitation period, but others remain at the September 2017 date.

By getting written confirmation their insurer will not plead the Limitation Act as a defense against their claim in any court proceedings, homeowners can maintain their rights.

If you are concerned the limitation period may affect your ability to make an insurance claim, or need advice on how to approach your insurer or the EQC, the Residential Advisory Service can provide free advice to progress your situation.

IAG

IAG’s position for all of its brands is that in respect of claims by our customers relating to policies which cover their contents and residential home, IAG will not deploy the Limitation Act as a defence to proceedings served on IAG before 1st July 2018.

Other types of potential litigants, who do not enjoy this blanket extension include:

a.      Assignees of insurance claims;

b.      Body Corporate Policy holders;

c.       Non- residential building policy holders;

d.      Business Interruption cover and other commercial policy holders.

Customers (not assignees) excluded from the blanket extension, will be considered on a case by case basis, but exceptional circumstances would be required, to avoid IAG utilising the Limitation Act defence.  

Southern Response

Southern Response will not rely on a limitation defence for claims arising from the Canterbury earthquakes that are filed in court before 4 September 2018.

Tower

Tower considers that the six year limitation period begins from the time a claim was settled or rejected rather than from the date of the original earthquake event. Please refer to Tower’s website for further details of our position in relation to the Limitation Act – www.tower.co.nz

Vero and AA Insurance

Vero and AA Insurance are taking a case-by-case approach with customers affected by the Canterbury earthquakes, and encourage customers who have lodged a claim to get in touch with their broker, adviser, or claims consultant.  Vero and AA Insurance customers who have an unresolved claim lodged with EQC are also encouraged to get in touch.  

FMG

FMG will continue to work proactively with clients with Canterbury Earthquake Claims that have been lodged with either EQC or FMG and will not rely on the Limitations Act in relation to the settlement of their claims. 

MAS

MAS have extended their claim limitation period to 4 September 2018.