Tower Insurance takes EQC to court

Tower Insurance takes EQC to court | Insurance Business New Zealand

Tower Insurance takes EQC to court

Tower Insurance has sued The Earthquake Commission (EQC) for failing to repay money owed for rectifying building issues on EQC’s behalf.

The “unprecedented” number of claims lodged with EQC following the Canterbury earthquakes meant private insurers often had to take action, rather than waiting for the EQC. This meant rectifying many land and building issues which should have been completed and paid for by the EQC.

Tower CEO Richard Harding says this was done with the understanding that the EQC would repay these funds, but has been “disappointed” by the lack of progress in its alternate dispute resolution process. He says court action is now the “only viable way forward.”

“The refusal by EQC to pay what is owed and the resulting court action is just another symptom of an ineffective and inefficient EQC structure that has led to long delays and poor community outcomes,” Harding stated.

“The cost of EQC’s inaction impacts all New Zealanders, resulting in higher costs, longer repair times and confusion about who is responsible for what.”

“As well as taking this court action, we are strong advocates for insurers to manage major event claims from day one, as was successfully done for the Kaikoura earthquake,” he added.

“It is disappointing but not surprising given EQC’s history, that we have had to turn to the court system to achieve an outcome that is fair for our customers and shareholders.”