Insurance advocate Ali Jones says there’s some good stuff and some not so good stuff in this latest report but the key is getting the right people with the right authority in place as soon as possible.
“I have said this before but it is not only about the number of staff, it is about their ability and knowledge. It’s also about changing systems. I like the ability for EQC to cash settle over cap claims but that’s not worth a jot if the assessments and repair methodologies remain flawed and it takes 5 different people to sign off such a case,” says Jones.
Jones’s family is one of almost 700 “on sold” claims, where a house was bought by the family as “fully repaired” by Fletchers, after which it became clear it was repaired poorly and incompletely.
“I can’t even get EQC to follow their own policy of professional fee reimbursement at the moment,” she says, “which has left us about $20,000 out of pocket. I know many others in the same boat.”
“Again though”, he says, “this will only work if signoff authority is given to claim managers or line managers and if people can easily meet with those in EQC who may not be progressing a claim for whatever reason.”
Ali Jones says the 2013 Faultlines Report made much of the poor communication between claimants and EQC, together with how the provision of claimant’s information needed to be less wieldy and more efficient but little changed. Ian Simpson was also quoted in the media several years ago as denying people needed to submit an Official Information Act Request (OIA) for their own information, something about which he was incorrect.
“That OIA lunacy has been allowed to continue for years despite recommendations from the Privacy Commissioner, the Ombudsman and denials from the then EQC CEO that it was even happening. I am pleased to see it is now finally going to be canned,” says Jones.
Despite reservations about the Stevenson Report, Jones says it is pleasing to see the amount of progress made in the last 8-9 months after years of not even being able to get acknowledgment that there were significant problems at EQC.
“Now we just need them fixed, and quickly,” she says.