Thursday, 10 September 2015

Notched Bearers

My oh my would it be interesting if the courts decided that EQC's insistence that cutting holes in bearers as a floor-levelling strategy was not, in fact, repairing the building to an "as new" standard as required by those clients' insurance policies.

There's a class action suit seeking declaratory judgement:
In addition, they argue EQC’s liabilities are not met merely by compliance with MBIE guidance.
EQC has been arguing it only needs to repair in a reasonably sufficient manner rather than to as new.
An example is the way EQC uses MBIE guidelines on floor levels, which were created after the earthquakes.
This has allowed EQC to repair to a lesser standard by adopting the liberal foundation level tolerances in the guidelines.
He says the group action is seeking three sets of declarations from the High Court around EQC’s interpretation of the EQC Act.
“EQC’s interpretation has left many outstanding claims in dispute, and potentially many settled claims now in doubt,” Mr Woods says.
“This is not a class action for damages. These proceedings cover serious issues and will have far-reaching implications for all New Zealanders.
“Where the EQC Act states the definition of ‘replacement value’ being ‘when new’ and compliant with the building code, EQC has chosen to consider only the pre-earthquake condition of a building.”
“The MBIE guidance document does not set out the standard required by either private insurance or the EQC Act, though EQC insists it can meet its obligations merely by complying with these guidelines. 
If you insure your house to be repaired to an as-new standard, and EQC provides the first cover under that policy, and EQC agreed to that, and EQC then insists after the insured event that "as new" means something entirely different from any plausible reading of "as new", and EQC is basically the government and they lean on you hard saying that folks who make trouble get trouble, well, it starts making you a bit of a sceptic of the value of government insurance.

I really hope that the cohorts outside of Christchurch who all see this as just more Christchurch whinging never ever ever have to deal with EQC. The schadenfreude utility isn't big enough.

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