If you would like support and advice on your residential home insurance claim, the New Zealand Claims Resolutions Service (NZCRS) can help.
The NZCRS is a free service that provides residential homeowners with advice, case management support where appropriate and access to legal, technical and wellbeing services to help them achieve timely, fair and enduring resolution of their residential insurance claims resulting from natural disasters.
They are there to help whether you're unsure of what your insurer is telling you or have specific questions about either your insurance policy or the process that will be followed to settle your claim.
Do your homework before accepting a settlement
NZCRS Director, Darren Wright says they are starting to see a flow of settlements being presented to homeowners by insurers, and that it's important for homeowners to understand their rights and obligations. He says homeowners should ask their insurer who will manage the repair – will your insurer arrange for the repair work to be done, or will you be responsible?
“If you receive a scope of work and payment from your insurer, it's important to understand this is the insurer's assessment and an interim payment based on what they believe the repair cost and strategy should be. The homeowner needs to engage their own builder to assess the scope and provide a quote for the repair costs.
“If your builder’s scope is different from the insurer’s assessment, or the money paid by the insurer is not enough to cover your builder’s quote, then get in touch with your insurer. You should clearly set out what is different and what costs are not included.
“It’s critically important you don’t incur any costs or agree with your builder on any contract until the insurer has accepted the changes and/or the cost variations. If the insurer is going to carry out the repair, it’s still important to check the scope to make sure you agree with it.”