Canterbury homeowners launch class action against insurer

Canterbury homeowners launch class action against insurer | Insurance Business New Zealand

Canterbury homeowners launch class action against insurer

Owners of quake-damaged homes in the Canterbury region have launched a class action, seeking full compensation from Southern Response.

According to a statement from Canterbury Homeowners Class Action, it aims to help 3,000 homeowners who it believes were short-changed by Southern Response in the settlement of their claims before October 01, 2014, to receive a greater proportion of any compensation paid by Southern Response.

The action will be led by Davey Salmon as lead barrister and major litigation law firm Meredith Connell, which has substantial experience running class action claims. The claim will be funded by LPF Group.

Mark Davies, partner at Meredith Connell, said the Canterbury Homeowners Class Action will be conducted in a straightforward way for policyholders.

“The funding terms for the Canterbury Homeowners Class Action will be fair and transparent. An independent committee of plaintiffs will be formed to make sure that the interests of all plaintiffs are represented throughout the course of the claim,” he said.

“Until today, the main option available to these homeowners to obtain compensation was through the claim run by GCA Lawyers and funded by Australian based Claims Funding Australia Pty Ltd. The Canterbury Homeowners Class Action aims to provide choice to that claim.”

Homeowners who will join the class action will not be required to pay anything, and they face no costs at all if the claim is unsuccessful.

These are the criteria to join the class action:

  • Owned a house that was insured by Southern Response (previously AMI Insurance) under a Premier House Cover Policy or Premier Rental Property Policy;
  • Made a policy claim after their house suffered damage in the Canterbury earthquakes;
  • Settled their insurance claim with Southern Response prior to October 2014, and Southern Response paid a sum of money in this settlement; and
  • Received a settlement amount which was less than that to which the homeowner was legally entitled.