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Government launches New Zealand Claims Resolution Service with insurers' support to help those hard hit by recent storms

Insurance / news
Government launches New Zealand Claims Resolution Service with insurers' support to help those hard hit by recent storms
Auckland flooding

The Government has launched the New Zealand Claims Resolution Service to support home owners with insurance claims following the recent cyclone and flooding in the North Island.

Below is a press release from Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Duncan Webb, and another from the general insurers' lobby group, the Insurance Council of New Zealand.

New service set up to support homeowners with natural disaster insurance claims

People whose homes have been damaged by a natural disaster – like Cyclone Gabrielle and the recent floods across various parts of the North Island - will now have access to a new service to assist and support them if their insurance claims get stuck, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Hon Dr Duncan Webb announced today. 

The New Zealand Claims Resolution Service (NZCRS) will provide expert support to homeowners with insurance claims after natural disasters to avoid disputes, resolve issues and ensure claims are settled as quickly as possible. This service will be live from Monday 20 February 2023.

The NZCRS will be a nationwide service modelled on the Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service (GCCRS) and Residential Advisory Service (RAS) that helped to achieve resolution with insurance companies.

“Dealing with a damaged home can be extremely stressful for homeowners and it is important that they have access to the support that they need,” Dr Duncan Webb said.   

“The Government is working swiftly to get the new service up and running to support homeowners whose properties have been affected by the recent extreme weather events in Nelson, Northland, Auckland, Hawkes Bay, Tairawhiti and the Coromandel.

“For those impacted by the Auckland flooding, the service will have case managers on the ground at community support hubs from Monday 20 February. For those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle support will be available locally as soon as possible.

“This kind of service was first used in response to the Canterbury Earthquakes to provide free advice to homeowners.

“Together the GCCRS and RAS have successfully provided information and services to over 10,000 homeowners. Satisfaction surveys show that 90% of respondents say they would recommend GCCRS to others. So we are expanding a service that worked well in Christchurch to make it a permanent nationwide service for all forms of natural hazards

“Early intervention before things go wrong, and independent technical and legal advice are key. The new national service will now make this support available to all homeowners affected by natural disasters.

“Funding for the service is currently provided through MBIE. It will provide homeowners with case management support, access to legal, technical and wellbeing services tailored to individual and whānau needs.

“Homeowners who have concerns about their claim or are unsure about the process can contact NZCRS on 0508 624 327, email or visit

“The first port of call is always to work things through with the insurer in the first instance, but if you get stuck or need support with unresolved claims, contact this new service.

“We know this service was a gamechanger in Christchurch and we are scaling it up across the country,” Dr Duncan Webb said.  

 Background about the service

The NZCRS will replace the GCCRS and RAS services. Homeowners currently accessing GCCRS will see no change to the services they are currently receiving as they work through their earthquake claims.  Those working with RAS will see an increase in the support they can now access.

  • The NZCRS will be available to help with residential insurance claims resulting from damage caused by a ‘natural disaster’ – defined as an adverse event resulting from a natural hazard (for example earthquakes, flooding, or extreme weather events).  

And below is what the ICNZ says about the New Zealand Claims Resolution Service

Insurers welcome New Zealand Claims Resolution Service

Insurers welcome the announcement of the New Zealand Claims Resolution Service (NZCRS) for property owners with house insurance as part of the response to natural disasters including the growing number of climate-driven extreme weather events that are leading to an unprecedented number of insurance claims.

"People must still make their insurer their first point of contact when making a claim. Even after major events, the vast majority of claims are settled smoothly," said Insurance Council of New Zealand Te Kāhui Inihua o Aotearoa (ICNZ) Chief Executive, Tim Grafton. "The NZCRS is an invaluable service that will provide free and independent insurance related advice to people at what is often a very stressful time for them."

Insurers have worked successfully with predecessor organisations, the Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service (GCCRS) and the Residential Advisory Service (RAS), which insurers helped to establish, and look forward to building on this with the NZCRS.

"Where services such as the NZCRS come into their own is their ability to offer truly independent, free advice and their ability to talk people through the claims process. This is particularly important where there is a complex claim. Having this understanding can often head off misunderstandings and delays in settling claims."

Where necessary, and particularly where there may be disagreements between around the value of a loss, such a service can help avoid protracted disputes and support recovery.

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This is good news, as a client of GCCRS I can say that their advice has always been without bias, and even when it is not necessarily what you may want to hear it has been invaluable.  To know that there is someone to call or email who has your back and that what you discuss with them is totally confidential and that you are not fighting on alone in what can become an isolating process.  They have definitely helped move my claim along on many occasions.