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Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal Bill supported by committee

19 March 2019

The Governance and Administration select committee has released a report on the Canterbury Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal Bill, recommending that it be passed with amendments.

The bill would establish a tribunal to provide speedy, flexible and cost-effective services to those involved in insurance disputes following the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.

The tribunal would be an independent judicial body as an alternative route for resolving insurance disputes.

The committee recommends changing the clause which defines which earthquakes would be covered by the tribunal. As introduced, the definition of "Canterbury earthquakes" is limited to earthquakes and any aftershocks occurring up until 31 July 2011.

"We recommend extending the date to 31 December 2011. This would account for the earthquake that occurred on 23 December 2011 and would ensure that another approximately 49,000 claims were included in the jurisdiction of the tribunal," the report says.

It also recommends amending the definitions of residential building and residential property to capture all similar terms that may be used in insurance contracts - for example, the term "home".

Another recommended amendment would allow the tribunal to decide liability for damage from earthquakes and aftershocks that occurred after 31 December 2011 in certain circumstances.

The bill was referred to the committee on 4 September 2018, with submissions closing on 18 October 2018. The New Zealand Law Society submission supported the objectives of the tribunal and proposed a number of suggested amendments.

Last updated on the 16th September 2019