New Southern Response boss issues apology to mistreated claimants

New Southern Response boss issues apology to mistreated claimants | Insurance Business New Zealand

New Southern Response boss issues apology to mistreated claimants

Casey Hurren, Southern Response’s new general manager, has issued a public apology to claimants who weren’t treated well by the state insurer.

Southern Response’s work over the years has left a trail of angry and frustrated claimants – with many claiming that they were mistreated, lied to, ignored, and ripped off. It eventually decided to shut down and transfer its remaining claims to the Earthquake Commission (EQC).

“If you look at the overall picture, we’ve settled 48,000 claims, we’ve got about 200 left,” Hurren told RNZ. “But then when you look at the individual claims - and over the years there have been people who have not been treated as well as they could have - and we could have done better. I think that when people are communicated with, sometimes we don’t communicate as well as we could and what that means is that ... people feel like they are being treated unfairly.”

Read more: Southern Response to transfer remaining claims to EQC

Hurren explained that it’s problematic when both parties were in dispute over the amount of damage, the scope of work, and the cost.

“So when you have those three elements and you have disagreements and disputes ... what you find is that some homeowners where we have communicated in a strong way about what we believe the damage, scope or cost is, have not been happy about that and they have gone to media ... and wanted to tell their story, and I get that,” he said.

“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.”