New Zealand Earthquake - April Update

18 Apr 11

It is nearly two months since the tragic aftershock occurred in Christchurch on the 22nd February. It is time for an update on how Cunningham Lindsey is striving to cope with the challenges of this event.

Following the earthquake both our Christchurch office and our Disaster branch office were not able to be accessed by us as they were both in the "red zone". We quickly relocated to a new office park - our new address is 3A Barry Hogan Drive, Addington. Our Christchurch Branch and our Disaster Branch offices are both located here.

We have teams of Adjusters and Sergon Building Consultants at other suburban locations as the large team can not all operate from the Addington facility.

Immediately following the 22nd February aftershock we sought assistance from our International Group and we have adjusters from Australia, South Africa, Canada, USA and the UK in New Zealand working on claims. Last week the profile of our commitment to the earthquake looked like this:

  • 49 International Adjusters in Christchurch
  • Approximately 20 New Zealand Adjusters in Christchurch working on Disaster claims
  • Our Christchurch Office working on business as usual and earthquake claims - approximately 12 people
  • Approximately 10 people involved in management, quality control, IT and claim support
  • 27 working in our Auckland BI team and remotely from around NZ
  • 7 in our Hamilton based Domestic Earthquake Claims Unit
  • 11 in our Auckland Commercial Earthquake Claims Unit
  • 3 in our Auckland triage unit - making first contact with claimants
  • A team of over 40 Sergon Building Consultants, support staff and management in Christchurch
  • 8 Sergon Building Consultants in Auckland working on Earthquake claims
    and still we are struggling to keep up!

We are contacting all new claimants on receiving their claim.

  • We are seeing Category 1 claims within 1-3 days - but this is dependent on access to damage sites
  • We are seeing Category 2 claims within 1-2 weeks
  • We are seeing Category 3 claims within 2-4 weeks. Any new Category 1 and 2 claims push the Category 3 claims back in priority
  • We have over 3400 BI Claims in our BI Unit. We are processing initial urgent progress payments as a priority.

We have received over 12,000 claims from the Earthquakes - many of these with multiple locations. Reserves on these claims exceed $3 billion.

The issues surrounding these events are starting to emerge. I attach another Technical Bulletin addressing the implications of the future Building Code changes - thanks to Leon Briggs for taking the time to put this together.

Click here to view the building code changes in our Technical bulletin

Like most claims people in the Industry our people are stretched well beyond their comfort zones and are very tired after 7 months of continuous pressure. I am glad to see that some of our team are taking some time off over the Easter period.

Our team have extended themselves magnificently - and I am proud of them - but concerned about the loads that they are carrying.

This is a time for all within the insurance industry to be patient and extra tolerant of each other!

Thank you for your support during these demanding times.

Martyn Norrie
Chief Executive Officer
Cunningham Lindsey New Zealand

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