COMMUNITY

EQ Claimants Reference Group: "Don't Stick Your Head in The Sand Over Damage"

Thursday 4 July 2019, 5:30PM
By RedPR
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CANTERBURY

Concerns that people still don’t know what earthquake damage their homes may have, has been raised at a meeting today.

The EQC Claimants Reference Group, which meets monthly, discussed the issue today and Chair, Tom McBrearty says there was significant concern that a number of homeowners may not be addressing cracked and broken elephant in the room.

“The earthquakes and aftershocks damaged almost every home in Christchurch. If people have a house that was assessed and there was very little or no damage identified, they should be asking themselves, “is it more likely than not, that my house is exceptional?” he says.

McBrearty says the CRG is advising homeowners to consider several things that may suggest a closer look by someone experienced in identifying earthquake damage, is needed.

“We all know of several people who know they have damage but can’t face raising it,” he says. “Then there are others who don’t know and in fact several homeowners have recently lifted carpet and found cracking in concrete floors which has led them to getting EQC back in for a closer look.”

The CRG recommends those who are unsure of what to do, to contact EQC in the first instance and to consider the Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service, to help them clarify their position.

ENDS

Background

In February 2018, the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, Hon Dr Megan Woods, appointed an Independent Ministerial Advisor, Christine Stevenson, to advise the Minister on speeding up the resolution of outstanding EQC insurance claims arising from the 2010-11 Canterbury earthquakes.

The report was released was released on 6 June 2018, and one of the recommendations was for EQC to establish a Claimant Reference Group (CRG), comprised of claimants and community representative advocates who are paid for their time and expertise, and with whom EQC senior management meets regularly.

Following this recommendation, the CRG was designed in partnership between EQC and a group of claimant representatives to deliver on the brief outlined in the recommendation.

The CRG was subsequently established and met for the first time in October 2018.

Purpose

The CRG has been established with the purpose of “improving the EQC experience of current and future claimants, with an immediate focus on the Christchurch experience”. The CRG will achieve this by focusing their efforts on “ensuring EQC is actively resolving the most important issues openly and transparently with claimants”.

The CRG is responsible for:

  • Generating ideas about areas EQC can improve;
  • Testing EQC improvements, and;
  • Liaising with EQC to monitor and communicate progress.

The CRG meets regularly as a group, at least monthly initially, engaging with EQC senior management and other experts as required in order to develop and communicate its advice.