Earthquake rebuild, no temporary accommodation cover

Temporary accommodation cover may apply if you live in the house at the time of the damage

No temporary accommodation cover

Charlie’s* rental house in Christchurch was insured as a tenanted property and occupancy was noted as “tenants only”. In February 2011, the house was damaged by the Canterbury earthquake and was deemed a rebuild. In May, the policy was changed from tenanted to unoccupied. In October 2012, Charlie moved into the house, following the completion of temporary repairs.

In April 2013, Charlie’s insurer informed him that arrangements had been made to rebuild his house. Charlie applied for the temporary accommodation benefit, as he was living in the house when the rebuild was to take place. His claim for temporary accommodation costs was declined.

Temporary accommodation cover was not available because, at the time of the earthquake, the policy provided cover for the house on the basis that the house was “occupied by tenants only”. Charlie wasn’t living in the house at the time of damage, so he was not eligible for a temporary accommodation benefit under the policy.

Complaint not upheld.

*Names have been changed

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