Southern Response Claims & Legal Advice
Southern Response Claims & Legal Advice
If you owned a residential dwelling insured with AMI Insurance and settled with Southern Response (previously AMI Insurance) regarding an earthquake-damaged property before 1 October 2014, you are likely one of the 3,000 claimants eligible for additional payment compensation. Engage Anderson Lloyd now to provide you with independent legal advice about your claim and seek your ‘top up’ payment from Southern Response.
Legal Advice for Southern Response Claims
Southern Response has confirmed that eligible policyholders have 18 months within which they can settle their claim. To obtain your ‘top up’ payment, we will liaise with Southern Response on your behalf to ensure you receive your full entitlement. We will calculate your entitlement and seek payment from Southern Response, including interest and a contribution to your legal fees (which, in most cases, will cover the majority of your legal fees).
Anderson Lloyd provides legal advice to eligible claimants for a fixed fee of $2,500 plus GST.* As part of the payment package, Southern Response will provide claimants up to $2,000 in addition to their settlement as a contribution to legal fees, which is paid once the claimant provides Southern Response evidence that it has obtained legal advice regarding the claim payment package. In other words, the most you will pay is $875.
If it turns out that you are not eligible for a ‘top up’ payment from Southern Response, there is no fee. If you have any questions or would like to discuss details about your claim, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at SRpayment@al.nz or continue reading to find frequently asked questions.
Southern Response Class Action Summary
Southern Response Earthquake Services Limited (previously AMI Insurance) misled policyholders to settle claims in respect of earthquake damaged properties on the basis of incomplete information.
A “Detailed Repair/Rebuild Analysis” (DRA) report was prepared in respect of policyholders’ earthquake damaged property, setting out the scope of works required to repair or rebuild the property and the costs of that work (Incomplete DRA). Policyholders were provided one version of the DRA. In most cases, the parties determined the fair and reasonable costs of repairing or replacing the property based on that DRA and settled with Southern Response accordingly.
Southern Response had another DRA version prepared for internal purposes, with a section titled “Office Use Only”, detailing professional fees, demolition fees, Arrow Construction costs and contingency fees that were not included in the Internal DRA.
Brendan and Colleen Ross, owners of earthquake damaged property in Christchurch, filed a class action on behalf of all policyholders that settled with Southern Response based on an Incomplete DRA and are now entitled to further compensation from Southern Response. Since then, they have come to a private settlement and accordingly, the class action may soon be at an end. The application to discontinue the class action will be heard by the High Court in Christchurch on 29 November 2021, and class members are invited to provide submissions on the proposed discontinuance (either in support or opposition) by 5pm on 25 November 2021. While we are awaiting notification from the Court as to the implications of discontinuing the class action, we recommend that any eligible policyholders seek independent advice to assist their claim against Southern Response and obtain their further compensation now.
Who is Entitled to Additional Southern Response Payments?
The Courts have determined that policyholders are entitled to the additional costs contained in the Internal DRA, and Southern Response misrepresented the total costs of repair and replacement by withholding the information in the Internal DRA.
Following an unsuccessful appeal to the Court of Appeal, Southern Response has confirmed that it will offer a payment package to all eligible policyholders. The payment package is calculated based on the difference between the Internal DRA and settlement funds that the policyholder has already received, in addition to interest and legal cost contribution.
Accordingly, AMI policyholders that cash-settled with Southern Response before 1 October 2014 are likely entitled to further compensation (on top of the cash settlement the claimant has already received from Southern Response) and should seek independent legal advice to advance their claim.
If you think you are eligible for a ‘top up’ payment, fill in the form below, and we will be in touch with you as soon as possible to begin your claim.
*Subject to the relevant terms of engagement, which can be accessed here.
Southern Response Claims – FAQ’s
How do I check if I am eligible?
You are likely eligible for a ‘top up’ payment if you:
a) 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;
b) 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;
c) received a DRA (Detailed Repair / Rebuild Analysis) from Southern Response that did not include an “Office Use” section;
d) did not receive a DRA that included the “Office Use” section;
e) entered into a settlement agreement with Southern Response prior to 1 October 2014 in settlement and discharge of their insurance claim; and
f) are not a person for whom Southern Response managed the repair of their home, or rebuilt their house.
If you think you meet the above criteria but are still unsure, please contact us and we can double check your eligibility. If you are not eligible for a ‘top up’ payment we will not charge you any fees.
What if I no longer own the property?
If you no longer own the property, it is possible that you may still be entitled to the ‘top up’ payment. We suggest that you get in touch with us to discuss your situation, and we can provide you with specific advice in relation to your claim.
What will it cost me to be involved?
We are charging a fixed fee of $2,500 (plus GST) to advise you in respect of your claim against Southern Response. If you are eligible for a ‘top up’ payment, Southern Response offer a contribution to your legal fees of $2,000 (GST inclusive), resulting in a total cost to you of $875 (subject to our terms of engagement).
If I am not eligible, do I still need to pay anything?
No – if you are not eligible for a ‘top up’ payment, there will be no fee.
Can I still get an additional settlement if I previously agreed to the amount at the time?
If you meet the eligibility requirements, it is highly likely that you are entitled to further compensation on top of the settlement you have already received from Southern Response.
Does this apply to claims where a house has been repaired?
So long as Southern Response did not manage the repair of your home, and you meet the remainder of the eligibility criteria, you are likely entitled to a further payment from Southern Response. If you are unsure, contact us and we can discuss whether or not you may be eligible.
Is there a phone number I can call to talk to someone about this?
Yes, call Rachel Pfahlert on 03 335 1227 with any questions you have about your claim.
I am not living in New Zealand anymore. Can I still be involved?
Regardless of where you are living now, if you meet the above eligibility criteria, you are likely entitled to a ‘top up’ payment, and we can act on your behalf to provide you with advice, and liaise with Southern Response as necessary.