Tower to fork out over $1.6m to rebuild quake-damaged home

by Mina Martin 16 Dec 2016

Tower to fork out over $1.6m to rebuild quake-damaged home

A major insurer who withheld information from a client and proposed a “highly unusual” earthquake repair plan has been ordered by the court to pay $1.62 million to rebuild a house damaged by the Canterbury earthquakes, it has been reported.

In a High Court decision, Greg Young’s Mt Pleasant home has been ruled beyond economic repair, with Young’s insurer Tower Insurance liable to pay $1.62 million for its reconstruction, Fairfax Media reported.

The Christchurch architect sued the insurer for more than $2 million after it proposed to winch his house back into place in order to repair it.

Since February 2011, Tower paid amounts ranging from $300,000 to $1.3 million in repair costs.

In his ruling, Justice David Gendall agreed to the allegation that Tower concealed a 2011 report from Young “which, although only a brief report, did recommend a rebuild of the house,” citing the move as “a serious breach of the defendant's obligation of good faith.”
Tower has also been ordered to cough up an extra $5000 in damages as well as $25,000 to pay for temporary accommodations costs.

The judge said Tower’s proposal to winch Young’s house back into place did not meet the insurer's obligations as per its policy with Young, the report said.

The case is one of several expensive residential earthquake disputes in Christchurch, including an $8.5 million Redcliffs home rebuild claim and a $23 million claim by Sumner's Cave Rock Apartments body corporate, Fairfax said.


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