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  1. #1

    Default House Fire Claim - Insurance & Contractors hard to deal with ?

    Insurance took a while over 15 months to repair the fire damage to a rental in Manukau, where Tenants accidentally caused in June 2017 & it still is in progress in a very slow pace

    Insurance cover is comprehensive with landlord cover however, it stopped paying the Loss of Rent after January 2018.

    When explained to the Insurer after numerous attempts, it appears that they are reviewing to pay the Loss of Rent , for up to 12 months, however we still did not get anything in writing.

    It appears, the delay is purely the construction company was mucking round with their contractors and Insurance company has not been keeping any communication with us since the inception of the claim.

    In the interim there was a minor storm damage as well in April 2018 , that the same company got involved (under a storm claim) however there still are pergola and garage damages those are not fixed.

    When spoke to the initial claims handler he said as the fire claim is in 'major category damage ' it has been put through to a different team to a different claim handler. He NEVER has got in contact with us with any updates.

    We have been asked not to enter the site by the construction company unless they invite us to do so or we seek permission from them as it is deemed to be a building site since the fire event.

    As no any communication from either side we went to the premises and found

    that the garden is a jungle and lounge & kitchen* has been repaired however wall cupboards /doors are warped and hard to close and wall papers of the rooms are now warped & coming off and the smell of Fire still exists.

    Finally after several contacts been made , got the contractor company to meet us on site to view the house this week.

    * They have replaced the lounge , the kitchen * , however the kitchen* layout was different, it misses out several cupboards and does not have the breakfast bar it had had , instead a 2 x narrow strips of cheap cupboards. We asked that we need the kitchen in original state of outlay ie with the breakfast bar installed .It's more work for them and building company rep said that it will take longer with the kitchen company to reinstall it to original state.

    * there was no dishwasher or space for dishwasher

    * Bedrooms have not been painted instead they are going to paste the wallpapers those peeled off with glue ? Walls still have marks of fire damage but they are going to set up Ozone machine to remove the smell of fire? They said the warped walls and hard to close cupboards are not part of fire damage ?

    *Bathroom walls bath and shower all looked distressed worn out ,vinylling shrunk, however, they are going to paint the bathroom ONLY and will not replace the bathroom instead will clean up the shower bath and lights etc ?

    * It was found that the insulation has been done ONLY to ceilings. It has been a rather large renovation for over 15 months in Insurance perspective a Major Claim. We have been told by the building company rep, that they do not insulate the underfloor and walls as they were not there before the fire - however , we have been informed by a friend who got her house fire damages fixed by her Insurer, that it must have been repaired to the current building code including the underfloor and wall insulation ?

    Just thought of checking with you what's your thoughts like, how to get those straightened and where to from here ?

    Also, as kitchen has now been already fitted is it reasonable to ask monetary settlement for $10 - $12k rather getting them revamped, because we too will be going away soon on a brief holiday and cannot afford house been untenanted ?

    Any suggestions , do's don'ts at all ?

    Thanks a lot for your thoughts suggestions tips !

    Last edited by Perry; 19-09-2018 at 01:44 PM. Reason: format fix

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004


    Consider employing a lawyer for the matter.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008


    yep. Throw a lawyer at them or make an official in email complaint to the insurer. If no satisfaction there is an Insurance Ombudsman.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006


    Contact the Christchurch Earthquake Association (not sure what the name is) as, I'm sure, there will be many there experienced with slack insurance companies.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004


    Quote Originally Posted by Viking View Post
    yep. Throw a lawyer at them or make an official in email complaint to the insurer. If no satisfaction there is an Insurance Ombudsman.
    A polite mention of the Insurance Ombudsman will get their attention.

  6. #6


    An update here:

    We both r briefly out of Auckland on preplanned small holiday and got my family in Auckland who is assigned while we away looking after our property affairs.

    Just wondering if I could borrow your brain a bit, please

    Got a Fire Insurance clm on a rental on going - house still is vacant- event happened July 2017 continue delayed repairs due to contractors project managers being changed ( they tried to put the blame on us as had delays agreeing on conditions ( which may have been approx 7-10 days max when signing contracts in November last yr ) .

    Insurance paid upto 12 months up to policy maximums till July 18 & when met with Insurance manager onsite lately plus when I quoted the discussion I had with ombudsman's office that morning, he agreed , verbally
    LOR extension, as the repair were delayed due to contractors project managers been changed . However the Insurance company
    now do not acknowledge/ respond to our requests for 'LOR extension' for the period they taken to do repairs -( ie they/ Insurer - Vero agreed it still is outstanding Vinyl replacement in toilet & hot water cupboard and cleaning some cupboards on passageways to name a few ) instead agreed to award only 3 weeks LOR for the period that they are completing the kitchen as the current one installed is significantly different to the kitchen we had prior to fire damage .
    ( we offered a cash settlement for kitchen behalf only for $9k so we can to alter it on a later day, and asked remainder if repairs to have completed within 2 weeks as to get a Tenant moves in as we r away for approx 3 weeks , to mitigate loss and secure the house - as house is abandoned & graffiti some thrash etc on the premises) however they were not cooperative, offered / wrote to us

    " In good faith and WOP we can pay you $9000, inc GST in full and final settlement of this claim and all matters of concern to you"

    Their phrase , "ALL MATTERS CONCERNS TO YOU " didn't appeal us at all.

    Because by that time , LOR extension itself $6k+ curtains quote $5k( of course they will depreciate it , that's ok) and and other bills - Water Power bills were approx $1.5k

    So they awarded last week , three weeks LOR for the period the kitchen is getting installed to the state before fire damage.

    Can they do it this way, ie ignore/ unpay in between a period of time of ' loss of rent' ( ie between July 18 to September 18 ?) The property was not in a tenant livable state at all( got PM starting that as well ) as the fire residues / cleaning the cupboards in the passageway not completed and Vinyling toilet Pantry cupboard were still incomplete as at today. PLUS they are to revamp kitchen to a state prior to fire damage? And still they have not started kitchen reinstatement work either

    Just what's your thoughts like ?

    Many Thanks in advance.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2015


    Start making lots of noise.
    Email the insurance companies complaints team every day, forwarding the previous email to them. This makes a nice string of emails showing your attempts to get answers.

    Use the insurance companies advertising against them ie Tower - we undo what the world does. Or something like that. Leaves them open for more complaints.

    And lastly, become an Ahole to them. Let them know you have had enough. No personal attacks to the call taker, but point out the company has absolutely failed their side of customer service. And if nothing is sorted real soon, then they can expect a call from your lawyer, fair go and the ombudsman. And maybe mention that it's time MPs looked at insurance premiums after petrol.

    Squeaky wheel gets the oil.

    And if they try to blame the construction company, politely point out who contracted them and that it's not your job to chase them up (that's if the insurance company contracted them).

  8. #8


    Hello ,

    I am looking for someone independent like an 'Insurance assessor' to help us with assessing the repairs conducted if they have been reasonably done and confirm if any health and safety sanitary issues and or if need any remedial works need addressed and house is safe for Tenants to move in?

    To cut the long story short, it's an Insurance claim (kitchen fire damage ) taken too long to complete over 16 months and the said property has been a venue for different builders / tradies involved for the repairs and just completed they emailed saying that I can have tenants in from 31 /10 and when asked to send an assessor to go over the repairs and get final sign off and the necessary certificates and the keys back to us, the Insurance is not sending an assessor to get the sign off and or are not sending any certificates of the works they done and they do not oblige any costs to get an independent assessor visit either to go over the property , can someone help ?

    This is on top of nearly $10,000 LOR loss to us due to tradesmen delays that Insurance entrusted , that vero dispute to pay as policy cover limits for 12 months

    We got a tenant willing to move in from tomorrow, who paid Bond already, however there are few concerns like fan in the lounge is hung too low and no switch to dishwasher and who knows if the kitchen plumbing is not at fault and if the insulation is done correct and so forth so we needed the assurance that they all are in order and safe and sanitary and the necessary certificates before a tenant move in as the house has been uninhabitable for last 16 months.

    Any tips suggestions would be much help.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004


    You may need a building certifier, rather than an insurance assessor.
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  10. #10


    Sorry to hear , this must be stressful .Insurance companies cause more stress than the actual damages themselves, i gave up on them a long time ago and their outrageously high premiums are a rort . If they have promised you something over the phone and it hasn't eventuated get them to check what was said in the recording , doing just that saved me around $800 on a cabinet under a vanity bowl ;they tried to duck out of paying for the cabinet..
    I had so many headaches over extremely small things that i stopped insuring a few years ago.


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