Earthquake: repair v replace

Providing expert evidence is important to dispute an insurer’s decision

Earthquake: repair v replace

A Trust’s rental property was damaged in the Canterbury earthquakes. The insurer provided expert evidence to show the property was both practically and economically repairable. It developed a repair methodology and made an interim payment of just over $90,000.

The Trust disputed that the house was repairable for a number of reasons, including council requirements and relevant building laws. The Trust said the repairs would not gain building consent and provided a costing for full replacement of the property.

The IFSO Scheme had numerous discussions with the Trust, stating that the Trust would need to provide expert evidence to support its view that the insurer’s repair methodology was inappropriate and that the property would not be able to gain building consent. However, the Trust provided no expert evidence. The insurer had provided expert evidence to show the property could be repaired. The case manager found the insurer’s repair methodology was appropriate. The insurer was entitled to limit its liability on the claim to the repair costs.

Complaint not upheld.

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