Resolving Canterbury earthquakes insurance claims

The Canterbury Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal Bill has been introduced to Parliament.

Budget 2018 included money to establish a tribunal to help people resolve residential insurance claims from the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes. The proposed legislation will establish the tribunal, providing Canterbury homeowners with an efficient and flexible option to resolve long-standing insurance claims, and help them move on with their lives.

The Bill reflects the Government priority to provide Canterbury homeowners with another way to make progress with insurance claims, and to reach an outcome. It proposes a tribunal that is:

  • Specialist: focused exclusively on Canterbury earthquake-related residential insurance claims between homeowners and insurers or the Earthquake Commission.
  • Homeowner-oriented: puts the decision to initiate tribunal proceedings with homeowners.
  • Flexible: tailors its approach to the needs of each case, and has various options available for resolving claims, including an independent, funded mediation service.
  • Inquisitorial: seeks out facts, and works directly with parties to clarify issues.
  • Proactive: sets timeframes and manages cases to keep claims progressing.
  • Empowered: can make any order a court can, and can appoint independent expert advisers to help it understand the technical aspects of a claim.
  • Consistent with established law: decides claims based on existing law and precedent, and relevant insurance contract terms.

Carl Crafar, the Ministry’s Chief Operating Officer, says some details of the tribunal’s workings will only be finalised once the Bill is passed.

“But we are starting to put things in place so the tribunal can be operational as soon as practicable once the Bill becomes law,” he says.

The next step is the Bill’s first reading, and then consideration by the Select Committee, when people will have the opportunity to comment on the Bill.

For more information on the Bill, see the Ministers’ news release:

Canterbury Earthquake Insurance Tribunal Bill introduced(external link)

You can also find more information in our key initiatives section:

Resolving Canterbury earthquakes insurance claims

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