EARTHQUAKES

Changes to EQC Implementation of Government On Sold Policy Applauded

Wednesday 26 February 2020, 5:21PM
By RedPR
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CANTERBURY

The Claimants Reference Group is applauding the changes being made to the implementation of the Governments ex gratia On Sold policy, following issues they raised earlier this month.

Chair of CRG, Tom McBrearty, wrote to EQC Management on February 4th, outlining concerns regarding the implementation of the policy, and in particular, the ‘full and final’ fixed price builder contracts claimants were required to enter into.

CRG member and insurance claim preparer, Dean Lester, says builders were being told by EQC to “price all risk and contingency” to their repair quotes to cover any unforeseen damage that would become known only after the work began. 

“With no ability to submit “variations”, there were examples of work that may not necessarily be required, having to be costed. Examples include recladding or consequential damage that may or may not result from relevelling. It is great that EQC has taken this feedback on board and worked with Treasury to agree a much more practical and effective way to pay reasonable costs and create an enduring resolution,” he says.  Mr Lester adds that variations in building are common and expected.

“Additionally, the CRG members have heard from a number of builders who would not sign a build contract without the flexibility of being able to undertake additional work should it be required, to repair earthquake damage.”

Deputy Chief Executive of EQC, Renée Walker, thanked the CRG for their regular and detailed feedback and suggestions, and reiterated that the organisation is working hard to ensure all on-the-ground feedback is heard and acted on.

“The CRG are an excellent voice for homeowners,” says Walker. “They provide a first-hand account of how the policy is working in practice,  and have made a number of suggestions that we have been able to act upon”.

EQC has received 625 expressions of interest in the on-sold policy since August 2019. The CRG would like EQC to proactively contact up to 80,000 homeowners who they believe may qualify for the On Sold programme. Tom McBrearty says with the deadline for expressions of interest is due to expire on 14 August this year; the clock is ticking.

“Overall, the CRG believes the On Sold programme is excellent,” he says. “It provides a way for stressed homeowners who are in a very challenging situation through no fault of their own, to move forward.”