Along with ongoing earthquakes, shoddy repairs and everything else- here is another issue that is surfacing. Please if you are in this position yourself, do join up and support each other through the process. This is another cash settlement beware story!
After nearly five years of struggling to rebuild my earthquake-destroyed home and fighting the bureaucratic swank from Vero Insurance, I have hit a wall. During my more distressing days earlier on, I was ‘snagged’ into a premature cash settlement, whereby the initial work and due diligence completed on my rebuild was shoddy and unsubstantiated prior to settlement.
In the years since, I have faced yearly delays, huge cost blowouts, and been rejected council consent over unresolved issues. I’ve spent thousands on completing extra reporting, including having to completely re-design the foundation anchors and install a retaining wall that was left off. I’ve had to engage a new structural engineering company at my own expense and time because the reporting initially provided was incorrect and unusable.
I believe that the insurer’s inability to allocate the time and effort required early in the settlement process has seriously impacted my life, and not just the additional stress moving from rental to rental. Where I once had a small mortgage and was slowly approaching the retirement slope, I am now uncertain when I will reestablish a home and whether I will have to sell my home before I can move back in.
Does this sound similar to what you’ve been going through? Who in this country can help citizens like us? I’ve been through the Insurance Ombudsman, my local Member of Parliament, and the Commerce Commission processes, all sympathetic and finding liability but all inconclusive around whether or not the complaint falls under any particular Act. What is the point of all these government resources and all our consumer protection laws if not a SINGLE one is able to stand up to the big conglomerates?
The Commerce Commission grouped my compliant with others filed by individuals in Christchurch who experienced similar situations. Therefore I have decided to start a support group for folk like myself in the hope that we will be a stronger force as a group rather than as individuals. If anyone else feels inclined please join my Facebook page – the link is https://www.facebook.com/groups/903712496393003/. On this page you are welcome to share stories, organise meetings, pool resources and hopefully find a way forward.
I will continue my battle with Vero and I welcome you to join me in your own pursuit for justice and a fair cash settlement from your own insurance company.
Ali Mander – Founder of the Premature Cash Settlement Support Group. Ali is about to embark on the fifth year of trying to rebuild her home after a failure to properly settle her cash settlement claim.