As winter sets in, “insurers are prioritizing residents for rebuilds and repair based on their vulnerability and are trying to provide flexible solutions to address immediate, serious needs”. “I’m aware some people are worried about seeking help because they think if they get support like this they will drop down the rebuild queue,” Mr Grafton, CEO of ICNZ said. “That is not true. The key vulnerability factors that prioritise rebuilds and repairs remain in place.” Tim Grafton said this during an interview with John Campbell.
Like many others our home was severely damaged during the September 4th earthquake. The house was racked and the roofing structure affected. Given the extensive settlement delays of almost three years and continual slow leakages into the property over those three years, we of course, have asked our insurer to take action in light of the mould issue. We have heard absolutely nothing. So last Thursday we rang our insurer, State Insurance, to place a content claim for additional damage because after three years of waiting for them to settle with us, mould has really set in. Serious amounts of mould have begun to be visible throughout the property and the odour that accompanies the mould is undeniable and it has already affected soft furnishings and art works. If we were living in the house, it would undoubtedly affect our health too. The insurer is fully aware of this fact as it was the insurer who sent round mould experts to assess the problem. The report made it quite clear- yes toxic mould present, humidity levels high and storage of items and sanitation of premises immediately required. All of this is a result of a badly racked home which has meant that the roof was compromised and water is entering the premises in many places throughout the entire span of the building.
Mould has a significant risk of reoccurring in multiple areas within the structure of a property and can pose the following health risks:
- Allergic reactions
- Irritation of tissues
- Toxic effects due to mycotoxins
Some toxic moulds such as Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Penicillium, Stachybotris and Trichoderma produce mycotoxins capable of causing severe health problems and even respiratory cancers.
So we rang to submit a content claim – and you guessed it – we were told it was ‘hidden gradual damage’ and therefore outside the remit of our policy. Well surprise, surprise – why is it I’m not surprised!
Even a half-wit can deduce that damage such as this is proximate enough to the main event or consequential to the main event to constitute falling under the policy. The attempts at denying content claims because of delays for which the insurers are responsible, is just another fine example of the lack of good faith within the industry which they will have difficulty in defending.
Meanwhile the industry is telling Canterbury homeowners that they should contact their insurers if they are affected by creeping mould caused by the earthquakes. For those with liquefied soils, As winter well and truly sets in, as the Man said, “insurers are prioritising residents for rebuilds and repair based on their vulnerability and are trying to provide flexible solutions to address immediate, serious needs”.
So very reassuring – Good faith abounds!
~Future Proofing for a sustainable, participatory, democratic society.