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Insurers edge closer to concluding Canterbury claims

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New Zealand insurers have paid $NZ15 billion ($14.14 billion) to settle residential and commercial claims since the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) says.

Domestic claims account for almost half, at $NZ6 billion ($5.66 billion).

Insurers have settled almost 15,000 over-cap residential quake claims, including 1100 in the March quarter.

At the end of March there were 24,200 over-cap residential claims, including 275 transferred from the Earthquake Commission (EQC) during the quarter, ICNZ says.

The total transferred from the EQC since January last year is 2238.

According to data collected by ICNZ and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, 71% of over-cap residential claims are now resolved – meaning a repair is under way or building contracts have been signed or fully settled.

A further 23% are “in resolution”, meaning cash settlement is pending or the repair is in the pricing and design process.

Some 11,200 over-cap claims have been settled in cash, which has allowed customers to buy homes and manage their own major repairs or rebuilds.

Some 570 customers have yet to receive offers from their private insurers, and 430 have yet to make decisions on the offers they have received.

ICNZ CEO Tim Grafton says his organisation is “mindful” of customers who have yet to be transferred to their insurers or are in dispute with the EQC over the status of their claims.

“It’s not only frustrating for the remaining customers who are still to be given a clear pathway to resolution, but also for insurers who still don’t know what their total liability is going to be.”