Southern Response claimants livid with boss Casey Hurren’s provide of apology


This story was initially revealed on RNZ.co.nz and is republished with permission.

Too little, too late.

That is what number of on the centre of points with Southern Response have characterised the state insurer’s provide of an apology.

Southern Response’s new boss, Casey Hurren, offered the public apology while speaking to RNZ. He mentioned by-and-large the insurer had bought it proper, settling 48,000 claims with solely about 200 left.

READ MORE:
* New Southern Response boss Casey Hurren offers apology in first interview
* Tales of rough justice: The wins and losses of Southern Response as it arrives at its end
* Southern Response boss silent as calls for inquiry grow
* Time running out for earthquake claimants to litigate against insurers: advisory service

These are claims arising from the Canterbury earthquakes virtually a decade in the past.

Southern Response was arrange by the Nationwide authorities after insurer AMI, which held the vast majority of residence insurance coverage insurance policies in Christchurch on the time, collapsed following the earthquakes.

When requested if he would publicly apologise to those that have been sad with their remedy by Southern Response, Hurren mentioned: “For anyone that wasn’t handled nicely through the course of their time and their declare settlement with Southern Response, I might completely apologise for that”.

However he put the issues right down to poor communication.

“I believe that when persons are communicated with, generally we do not talk in addition to we might and what meaning is that … individuals really feel like they’re being handled unfairly.”

Ali Jones is an insurance advocate and a former Christchurch city councillor.

RNZ

Ali Jones is an insurance coverage advocate and a former Christchurch metropolis councillor.

He mentioned that was problematic when each events have been in dispute over the quantity of injury, the scope of labor, and the price.

“So when you could have these three parts and you’ve got disagreements and disputes … what you discover is that some owners the place we now have communicated in a robust method about what we consider the harm, scope or value is, haven’t been completely satisfied about that they usually have gone to media … and wished to inform their story, and I get that.

“I believe [we communicated effectively] for lots of claims, however for a minority of them we did not get it proper,” he mentioned.

Apology not sufficient

Insurance coverage advocate, Ali Jones – a former Christchurch metropolis councillor and a claimant herself – mentioned the proposition that was the one downside was laughable.

“Too little, too late. If wasn’t so terribly unhappy and I did not virtually really feel like I wished to cry, I might be rolling across the ground and laughing,” she mentioned.

In any case this time the apology didn’t go wherever close to far sufficient, she mentioned.

“I’d have appreciated to have heard him say they’re placing their hand up and are acknowledging that they’ve dealt with, managed, assessed 1000’s and 1000’s of claims in Canterbury in a woefully poor method. They’re doing higher, they are going to be doing higher and we will likely be counting on EQC to assist information us with this.

“You are by no means going to listen to that, nonetheless a lot you’d prefer to. However that’s what Southern Response wanted to don’t solely now, however wanted to do 4, 5, six years in the past.”

The insurer wrapped up on the finish of final yr with its remaining 200 claims being transferred to EQC.

Hurren stayed on to take care of the 30 circumstances earlier than the Excessive Courtroom, in addition to a Courtroom of Attraction matter and an ongoing class motion.

The lawyer behind that class motion, Grant Cameron, mentioned the apology was “fully applicable”, but it surely was time to observe up with motion and supply truthful and cheap settlement to the 3000 claimants concerned within the go well with.

“Individuals are going to essentially query the validity and worth of the apology the place it appears plain that the Authorities does need to proceed arguing about technical authorized points and what’s its intention in doing that.

“I believe numerous our shoppers really feel that it nonetheless needs to minimise the general funds and it is maybe not being completely real in making an attempt to confront these points.”

‘Very, very indignant’

One of many claimants concerned within the case, Christchurch couple Mark Gilmour and Althea Kallas, mentioned the insurer had short-changed them by about $200,000.

The Excessive Courtroom dominated in August final yr Southern Response observe of writing up two separate costings for residence repairs – and solely providing the client the cheaper one – was misleading and deceptive.

Gilmour mentioned the apology left him fuming.

“This response is just too little, too late. We spent one of the best a part of three years arguing with these individuals. Southern Response advised us lie after lie. We simply can’t get any satisfaction by any means, so once we hear this belated apology of kinds it actually makes us very, very indignant,” he mentioned.

However Dean Lester, who acts as an earthquake insurance coverage declare preparer in Christchurch, mentioned whereas the apology had come far too late, he hoped it confirmed Southern Response was making an attempt to take a unique strategy.

“I believed it was very clear that Casey was making an attempt to take a unique route than Southern Response have taken in latest months. The apology is welcomed however lots of people have been damage, and plenty of have been annoyed and certainly have been fairly broken by Southern Response prior to now.”

Lester mentioned Hurren wanted to observe up the apology with full and applicable settlement of excellent claims.

The category motion is subsequent earlier than the court docket in March.

This story was initially revealed on RNZ.co.nz and is republished with permission.