The Labour led federal gov is hoping that this step will speed up the process for unresolved cases.
The government of New Zealand is now working to create an Earthquake Court that will be meant specifically for making it possible to bring some resolution to the insurance claims in the country that remain outstanding after the massive quakes shook many parts of the country, including Christchurch.
The government has also committed a certain amount of funding for a portion of the total repair bill.
The Earthquake Court and the funding are meant to help to make up a segment of the estimated $20 million in total that will be required to repair most of the homes that were damaged in the quakes and that are now located in regions that are at a high risk of flooding. This effort is also designed to help to clear up the many outstanding insurance claims for Cantabrians that have yet to achieve resolution with their insurers.
The announcement of the Earthquake court was made in Christchurch by Labour party leader, David Cunliffe.
At the same time that Cunliffe made the announcement, he also gave notice to insurance companies, stating that if that particular industry did not cooperate with the new system, while working in good faith, then “alternative regulatory means” would be implemented by his party. That said, he did not provide any details as to what exactly those actions would be.
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He also added that he feels that the recovery in Canterbury, so far, had been “far too slow and far too messy,” explaining that this was why his party was creating this first element of the new policy for the region. He explained that “Forty months after the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake, there are still more than 10,000 insurance claims that have not been settled.”
By the close of May 2014, there was still a pending settlement for 9,755 insurance claims that were deemed “over-cap”. Moreover, there were also 1,508 claims for people who had not yet come to a decision regarding the offers that had been made, and another 1,368 policyholders who have yet to receive an offer from their insurers. The Earthquake Court is meant to help to overcome this massive backlog that is stopping families from being able to move forward with their lives and that has been clogging up the country’s court systems, said Cunliffe.