Advocate slams Southern Response for claims figure

Advocate slams Southern Response for claims figure | Insurance Business New Zealand

Advocate slams Southern Response for claims figure

Claimant advocate Ali Jones has slammed Southern Response for claiming that there were only around 200 Canterbury earthquake claims left to settle.

The controversial earthquake insurer shut down last year and transferred its remaining claims to the Earthquake Commission (EQC). Casey Hurren, Southern Response’s new general manager, confirmed last week that there were only around 200 earthquake claims left to deal with – but Jones believes otherwise.

“To hear now that there are only 200 claims left is really a little bit of a joke. I think there are potentially hundreds more that could still go over cap to Southern Response,” Jones told TVNZ. “Some may have stuck their head in the sand because who actually wants to get into all of this after eight-nine years? Some of the damage hasn’t even been discovered yet.”

Read more: EQC aims to settle final Southern Response claims by mid-2020

Hurren issued a public apology to claimants who weren’t treated well by Southern Response – pointing out that it’s problematic when both parties were in dispute over the amount of damage, the scope of work, and the cost.

“I think [we communicated effectively] for a lot of claims, but for a minority of them we didn’t get it right. If anybody that wasn’t treated well during the course of their time and their claim settlement with Southern Response, I would absolutely apologise for that,” he said last week.

Meanwhile, Jones is calling for an investigation, saying: “Some are saying there needs to be a royal commission of inquiry into Southern Response and how it’s performed. Some of these things that Southern Response apologised for in a very backhanded way are still happening. I think there needs to be a full investigation.”