"Highlighting the inadequacies of the way in which the earthquakes of 2010-2012 were handled by the insurance industry! "

Insurers can help with mould menace – really, – yeah right!


The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) have stated that Canterbury homeowners should contact their insurers if they are affected by creeping mould.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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
  • Infections
  • 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.


Author: Sarah-Alice Miles

Love to write, create and watch the clouds move across the sky - these days in the Netherlands. 'Art allows us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time'.

4 thoughts on “Insurers can help with mould menace – really, – yeah right!

  1. I too had a serious mould infestation and despite commissioning a report our insurers did nothing until I told them the health issues we were having would lead to a prosecution for culpable negligence if the medical treatment did not cure us, insurers had the place decontaminated quick smart.


  2. Unfortunately, we have a real conflict of interest when comes to ICNZ. As we all know they are sponsored by the insurers and is a self regulated body. After reading the propaganda article written and put out by Samson from the ICNZ. He role is to align himself with the media and presumably given the resources to adopt this type of approach.
    The ICNZ are a toothless tiger when comes to representing the people who have been waiting for 2 & half years and still not getting any joy.
    I would suggest to the ICNZ staff go back to your knitting kneedles and tidy up your own back yard.
    To all Cantabrians if you are not receiving your true entitlements in accordance with your insurance policy. Approach the parent company in Australia and make a formal complaint and the regulatory authorities there will investigate . DO NOT DEPEND ON THE ICNZ.
    I shall be attending a number of AGMs this year in Australia to voice my displeasure and anger what is happening in Christchurch. It’s time for the shareholders to be presented with the hard cold facts, how the insurers are hood winking, delaying and deceiving the folks in Christchurch.
    No more PR spin or sugar coated answers from the insurers … It’s time to get the job done


  3. Creeping mould is probably a good description of most insurance companies!


  4. Aren’t the insurance companies, themselves, “creeping mould?”


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