Anderson Lloyd assisting Southern Response earthquake claimants entitled to further compensation
New Zealand law firm Anderson Lloyd has launched a fixed-fee service to act for people who settled with Southern Response who are now entitled to a top up payment. It is estimated up to 3,000 homeowners may be entitled to further compensation where Southern Response underpaid their earthquake damage settlements, with the average top up payment expected to be around $100,000.
With the government approving a payment package of $2,000.00 for each eligible policy holder, Anderson Lloyd is offering a fixed service fee of $2,500.00 (plus GST) to act on claimants’ behalf to establish their eligibility and determine what their additional top up payment should be. No service fee will be charged if a claimant is found not to be eligible.
Partner at Anderson Lloyd, Simon Munro said the successful private settlement of other claims such as the Ross v Southern Response Earthquake Services Limited litigation opens the door for others to pursue a top up payment.
“We are encouraging people to contact us if they settled with Southern Response, who were previously AMI Insurance, prior to 1 October 2014 as they may well be eligible for a top up payment on the settlement.”
Three sets of proceedings relevant to Southern Response settlements have confirmed Southern Response withheld information from policyholders about the cost of remedying earthquake damage from their home, such as professional fees and contingency fees for construction and design.
“As a result, some policyholders will have settled their claims for less money than they were entitled to. The Courts have determined that policyholders are entitled to those additional costs and we want to assist them in getting what they deserve,” said Munro.
Southern Response Policy Holders are likely to be eligible for a ‘top up’ payment if they:
- own or owned a residential dwelling in Canterbury that was insured with Southern Response (formerly AMI Insurance) under a “Premier House Cover” or “Premier Rental Property Cover” policy;
- lodged a claim or claims with Southern Response under the policy for damage suffered to the dwelling as a result of the 2010-2012 Canterbury Earthquakes;
- received a Detailed Repair/Rebuild Analysis (DRA) from Southern Response that did not include an “Office Use” section;
- did not receive a DRA that included the “Office Use” section;
- entered into a settlement agreement with Southern Response prior to 1 October 2014 in settlement and discharge of their insurance claim; and
- are not a person for whom Southern Response managed the repair of their home, or rebuilt their house.
While Southern Response has sent out a notice, encouraging claimants to get legal advice, Anderson Lloyd are concerned that many people may not be aware they are entitled to this top up.
“These settlements occurred many years ago, and claimants contact details may now be out of date. We are therefore advising anyone who thinks they may meet the criteria, even if they are unsure, to contact us for further advice. Even if you no longer own the property or are living overseas, we encourage people to get in touch with us to see if they are eligible. If we find you are not eligible for a top up payment, no fee will be charged,” said Munro.
Further information including an application form can be found at Southern Response Claims & Legal Advice.
Questions or a request for a discussion can be emailed to SRpayment@al.nz