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22 May 2013
Insurers have now paid almost half of the commercial claims from the Canterbury earthquakes.
The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) says private insurers have paid more than $NZ3 billion ($2.3 billion) in commercial claims, out of more than $NZ4 billion ($3.1 billion) paid in quake claims so far.
About 20% of 109,860 residential claims have been settled.
New Zealand has a two-tier settlement process for residential earthquake damage, with the Earthquake Commission (EQC) dealing with building claims worth up to $NZ100,000 ($77,800) and up to $NZ20,000 ($15,600) for contents, then passing higher amounts on to private insurers.
Progress on settling residential claims has been delayed by decisions about land, the sheer number of claims, aftershocks and the interaction between the EQC and private insurers.
Mr Ryan says the payout figure shows the industry is making real progress. He says people moving house can get insurance for their new property if it already has insurance, but the insurer may require data about the land condition.
Land is being opened up for new housing and Mr Ryan told insuranceNEWS.com.au that builders’ warranty insurance is available, although the situation once the house is built is a matter for insurers.
Geotechnical analysis has been done on the new subdivisions and he says insurers are generally comfortable that the land is suitable for housing.
Private insurers expect to pay out around $NZ15 billion ($11.7 billion) in total for the Canterbury rebuild.
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