Are Insurers Likely to Use a Defence of Limitation to Reduce Liability?
This is such a critical issue it cannot be understated how disappointing it is that Tim Grafton, CEO of the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) has stated that the Council could not agree to a proposal put forward by Mr Peter Woods of Anthony Harper. That proposal was to have members agree to defer their Limitation Act defence until at least 12 months after EQC notified the claim as overcap. Refer: Article HERE
The approach put forward by Mr Woods is, without doubt, reasonable and responsible. In addition, it would be considerate to the situation EQC appears to have created by not applying the EQC Act correctly, therefore keeping overcap claims undercap.
There are currently more than 13,000 remedial claims with EQC. It is possible a high percentage of those should be overcap (especially if the home was built before 1970). Sadly, there is a high probability that many of 13,000 owners don't yet know the risk they face with the insurers ability to use Limitation as their defence.
For the insurers and ICNZ to not approach Limitation as unified group it may not be unreasonable to think about it as an intentionally divisive tactic. Claimants must now go one by one to their insurer, and one by one they will have to file proceedings if the insurer does not agree to an extension. Is it to big a leap to think that maybe the insurers and ICNZ may have planned to advantage one group at the expense of another?
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- Review the information we have provided on Limitation HERE.
- Review the information provided by RAS HERE.
- Send a letter to your insurer, template HERE and / or obtain legal advice.
- Speak with your legal representation in sufficient time to file proceedings if required. For those that do not have the funds, contact Community Law.
- Let other people know.