Insurance & Savings Ombudsman Scheme: Canterbury update

2 July 2015

The Insurance & Savings Ombudsman Scheme has dealt with 1,542 complaint enquiries and 138 complaint investigations about the Canterbury earthquakes since 2010.

“Despite complexities and delays, real progress has been made in Canterbury, and this year the ISO Scheme has only dealt with 4 formal complaints,” says Insurance & Savings Ombudsman Karen Stevens.

“The ISO Scheme has facilitated a much higher number of settlements for Canterbury earthquake complaints, compared to other complaints. This means the customer and their insurer have agreed to the outcome.”

About 32% of complaints to the ISO Scheme about Canterbury earthquakes are settled, compared with a 21% settlement rate for complaints overall. “This demonstrates the willingness of both parties to work through some complex issues to finalise the claim.”

In particular, Southern Response’s customers have had increased flexibility. “Southern Response agreed to waive the ISO Scheme’s jurisdictional limit, increasing our capacity to investigate their customers’ claims, which was a positive step.”

The greatest proportion of Canterbury earthquake complaint enquiries the ISO Scheme has dealt with relate to valuations, repair or rebuild costs, or scope of works. This is followed by queries about cash settlement or settlement methods, inspection, delays and priority, issues with temporary accommodation, and the scope of cover.

“We are very aware that unresolved insurance claims in Canterbury are still causing strain and frustration for many people, and we want to help where we can,” says Karen. “We encourage people to raise the issues formally with their insurer and contact us to discuss what your next steps might be.”

“The continuing challenge is to manage all claims and balance needs to provide effective outcomes for customers. We are here, as an independent, impartial third party to help resolve the issues that are preventing claims from being finalised.”