Election 2014 - Party Policies - Canterbury Earthquake - Insurance Court

This is where the parties stand on Canterbury's recovery from the earthquake.

Canterbury Earthquake Insurance Court

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  •  Additional resourcing in the form of extra judges and administrative support for the District and High Courts would help them to speed up consideration of earthquake related claims without the need to establish a special division of the District Court as Labour promised to do in June. The Courts have developed procedures and an ‘earthquake list’ to organise and help process earthquake related claims. The Green Party would wind back National’s unlawful changes to legal aid to ensure access to justice, which may assist with civil legal aid for earthquake-related claims. Labour’s proposal that the Crown pay for lawyer costs and those of expert witnesses, and recover these from the Earthquake Commission and insurance companies has merit. (more here)

  • Labour will set up a special Canterbury Earthquake Division of the District Court in Christchurch to deal with insurance claims of up to $1 million.
  • All costs, including lawyers’ costs and expert witnesses’ fees, will be paid for by the Crown to reduce the burden on families trying to get their claim settled. The Crown will recoup those costs from the insurance companies and EQC as a levy in proportion to the size of the awards granted by the Court.
  • The insurance companies and EQC will pay to run the Earthquake Court. After nearly four years of failing to settle Cantabrians’ claims, it is only fair that the insurers bear the cost when they end up in court.
  • The cost of the Court is an added incentive for the insurance companies to settle the outstanding claims as quickly as possible and fairly, before they result in litigation.
  • To ensure that families have the information they need to take their insurers to court if need be, and settle their claims faster, Labour will ensure a proactive release of information from government bodies relating to their claim. Currently, claimants are waiting endlessly to get information through the Official Information Act that EQC and CERA should be releasing as a matter of course. (more here)

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