Court rules insurer can 'fill' quake-damaged floor instead of replace

Liz McDonald, The Press

Earthquake-damaged foundations of a home with a "when new" insurance policy can be "jacked and packed" instead of being replaced, a court has ruled.

The Fitzgerald Family Trust launched court action to compel insurer IAG to rebuild the foundations of a 1920s double-storey weatherboard house in the Christchurch suburb of St Albans.

IAG's plan was to inject the unreinforced perimeter foundation with epoxy resin then replaster it, and re-level the house by "jacking and packing" its timber piles.  The case was heard in Christchurch during October.

The judgment could set a precedent as other Canterbury homeowners with so-called rubble foundations – made of stones and rubble cemented together – have claims before the courts. It could still be challenged by appeal.

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Simon Darby