Last week David Hayward blogged about his own experience dealing with his insurance company over the fate of his Christchurch home:
Tower Insurance maintain that the house is not a write-off. They maintain that they are only obliged to repair the house — not to honour our insurance policy for total replacement. They say that just because we won’t be allowed to live on the land, and that the house will be bulldozed, doesn’t mean that the house is an insurance write-off. Sorry, they say, but what the government mandates with regard to land is nothing to do with them.
I had hoped my fellow blogger David’s problems were a one-off, and someone at Tower Insurance had made a mistake. But that is clearly not the case. Tonight’s Campbell Live reveals this is a widespread approach by the insurance industry – if a house can be repaired, but the Government has deemed the land to be unsuitable for housing, insurance companies will pay only the repair costs, rather than the replacement costs, even though the house will have to be demolished anyway.
Some Christchurch homeowners are even hoping for another big quake – to cause more damage to their homes and finally convince their insurers that the homes cannot be repaird.
This is a disgraceful approach from the insurance industry – trawling the fine print, and without seeng the policies I would suggest with dubious interpretation, to minimise their financial liability and maximise that of landowners.
And, hey, it is these same insurance corporates that the Government wants to run the ACC work account – no doubt crapping on injured workers in the same way as they are currently crapping on property owners in Christchurch.