Tag Archives: Insurance

EQC announces new policy for on-sold over-cap properties

At EQC.govt.nz:

On 15 August 2019 the Government announced a policy that allows owners of on-sold over-cap properties in Canterbury to apply for an ex gratia Government payment to have their homes repaired.

If you’ve bought a home in Canterbury and discovered that it is damaged over the EQC cap, you may be eligible for an ex gratia payment to cover the cost of repair.

Under the policy, you will have twelve months (no later than 14 August 2020) to register your interest for the ex gratia payment. After that time, the policy will not be available.

If you qualify you may be able to receive an ex gratia payment equal to the agreed cost of repair.

To qualify for the support package, you’ll need to meet the following criteria:

  1. You have purchased a property in Canterbury after 4 September 2010 (the date of the first 7.1 magnitude Canterbury earthquake) and on or before the announcement of this support package on 15 August 2019; and
  1. Before selling the property the previous owner settled a claim with EQC on an under-cap basis; and EQC cover depends on how the natural disaster damage occurred.
  1. Post-sale you have discovered the property has incomplete or insufficient repairs either as a result of defective repair or through damage which had not been properly assessed; and
  1. The cost of the repair, together with the amounts previously paid by EQC for the property is more than the EQC cap ($100,000 +GST); and
  1. You are unable to access private insurance to cover the cost of repairs.

This is will be a welcome resolution to many homeowners who found themselves in a seemingly impossible situation of having no recourse to the original insurer of their property due to believing that all necessary earthquake repair work had been completed. However, the fact that this will require agreement with EQC as to the extent and cost of necessary repairs will be cold comfort for some!

Team Griff’s Post-EQ Update

November EQ Update


Shaky start to the week!

Well for most it was a rude awakening just after midnight early Monday morning – not really the shaky start that we were all after, let alone for many the need to evacuate their homes in the early hours of the morning. We all feel for our North Canterbury communities as they battle the aftermath and clean-up of such a significant event.

 

Business as usual

That aside here in Christchurch it will be largely business as usual and thankfully apart from being sleep deprived and a long rolling/rocking motion the city has come away relatively unscathed. Obviously, it is a little unsettling but with the events fresh in our minds of recent years we are quick on our feet to both reach out to each other and swing a plan into action.

 

Insurance embargo

Just FYI here is a quick note that we received from our contacts at AMI this morning:

Just letting you know that we temporarily have an embargo in place regarding taking on any new insurance risks anywhere north of Rakaia River through to Kapiti Coast. This will unfortunately also include properties already insured with AMI or other IAG brands (State, NZI, Lumley General etc).

My advice, if you have any auctions or sales coming up soon, is to get your agents to make contact with us all the same. We can then take details and keep you and your agents updated, rather than you having to continually enquire about whether new policies are being sold. I recommend using the Papanui@ami.co.nz email address; we will acknowledge these requests and will assign to one of our consultants to take ownership of. We can also start the process so that once IAG has issued the “all clear”, we can give the quickest possible turnaround.

I recommend that your agents prepare your customers for the fact that any insurer will definitely ask about possible damage from the recent severe earthquake, so they would be well advised to be proactive by speaking to the vendor about this.

Given our past experience following the Christchurch earthquakes, this was largely expected as reinsurers seek to minimise their risk until losses can be quantified. Click here to read more.

UPDATE: Major insurers have agreed to a deal to lift the “freeze” on new house insurance policies being issued. The Insurance Council of New Zealand has brokered a deal in which insurers will issue policies to new owners of homes, if they insured with the old owner. Click here to read more.

 

Maximising the current market

Well aware that time is fast running out prior to Christmas it is vital to maximise on the time left prior to the close of business for the year. With the Canterbury economy healthy and $100m still being spent on the greater rebuild weekly plus purchasers remaining active, there is no reason why a sale cannot be concluded in this end of year countdown – there is nothing like a deadline! Providing flexible possession prior or after Christmas will add another arrow to your quiver and something as simple as being open to additional viewing times can also ensure no opportunity is lost for the sale of your home.

Here at Team Griff we are conscious of the importance of getting the job done at this busy time of the year, so we are happy to strategise a plan best suited for the market and your circumstances.
Take care, keep safe and sleep well!

Griff and the team

Back to business as usual following Sunday’s seismic surprise

Untitled designSunday’s magnitude 5.7 earthquake may have come as a surprise to many of us, however it serves as a timely reminder that occasional jolts are part of the ‘new normal’ we’ve all tried to get accustomed to following the events of 2010 and 2011. After significant shakes like the one on Sunday, it’s important we remember to continue to look out for each other, especially those who are alone, infirm or need extra support.

As far as property damage and claims go, The Press reports:

Insurance claims after the quake on Sunday are close to 500, said earthquake minister Gerry Brownlee after a briefing by the Earthquake Commission.

There have been 496 claims in total as at Monday afternoon for damage caused by the 5.7 magnitude earthquake that rocked Christchurch.

If you’re currently in the process of buying or selling a property (i.e. have a contract in place), our advice is to check the property in the first instance. If you have any concerns, it would pay to have to have a more thorough inspection carried out by a suitably qualified professional. You have three months to lodge a claim with EQC, and it will be imperative to have a claim lodged if there is any damage prior to settlement, so that such claims can be assigned to the new owner. Broadly speaking, it appears the majority of Christchurch properties (save a handful in a few localised spots) weren’t significantly affected by Sunday’s event.

Results from this week’s auctions suggest buyers were largely unperturbed with 13 properties from 17 selling under the hammer at Harcourts Gold, 7 from 11 at Harcourts Grenadier and 12 from 17 at Harcourts Holmwood. Even uninsured properties sold well with competitive bidding this Thursday.

As far as insurance goes, we’re yet to hear of any reports of tightened criteria or stand-down periods as a result of the recent seismic activity, which is encouraging. See also: ‘Christchurch earthquake: Insurers not expecting big claims’

All in all it’s simply a case of back to business as usual. As we approach the 5th anniversary of the February earthquake let’s get on with doing out bit to making Christchurch the first class city it’s set to become!

Big year ahead for Christchurch rebuild

BIG YEAR AHEAD FOR CHRISTCHURCH REBUILDRadio New Zealand reports:

Insurers are on track to settle the vast majority of Canterbury earthquake claims by the end of this year, the Insurance Council says.

Figures released by the council show that nearly $16.7 billion had been paid out by December 2015.

That figure included 139,858 domestic claims, to a total of $7.8 billion – less than half the total.

Insurance Council chief executive Tim Grafton said the figure reflected a 21 percent rise in the settlement rate last year, compared to 2014.

“That’s just absolutely massive in New Zealand history – as we know its been the biggest event this country has ever known in terms of damage.”

He said 5400 major repairs and rebuilds were settled last year.

Continue reading

‘As is, where is’ December 2015 update

AS ISWHERE ISTeam Griff chalk up their 155th ‘as is’ sale

This Thursday with four auctions to be called Team Griff will reach yet another milestone, surpassing their 155th ‘as is, where is’ sale. Who knows with the demand for our services ever increasing there may well be another 100 plus to come! Continue reading

Surge of ‘as is’ listings provides greater choice

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If you thought you had been seeing an increased number of ‘as is, where is’ properties on the market, you’d be correct. A search of Christchurch listings on Realestate.co.nz with the key words ‘as is where is’ pulls up over 230 listings.

Undoubtedly this stems from the mainline insurers’ shift towards cash-settling earthquake claims as they struggle to meet deadlines.

Interest.co.nz reports:

As at January 31, IAG (excluding its newly acquired Lumley brand) had only completed repair of 258 of the 3952 property repair claims it had received. It had cash settled 1099 claims.

It had completed the rebuild of 435 of the 4299 rebuild claims it had received. It had cash settled 2085 of these.

IAG’s executive general manager of Canterbury Recovery, Dean MacGregor, says, “We simply can’t ask our customers who have not yet signed a contract to join a construction queue, if we can’t guarantee that we can reinstate their property within a reasonable timeframe.”

It also says it has received overwhelming feedback from its customers that cash settlement has put the power back in their hands and given them freedom to make choices that work best for their particular circumstances.

From the perspective of a person who sells a considerable number of ‘as is’ properties (we’ve just chalked up our 111th ‘as is’ sale since 2012), it’s apparent that buyers are currently are enjoying a greater deal of choice than they did 18 months ago.

The ‘invisible hand’ referred to by Scottish Economist Adam Smith prevails in such circumstances. Increased supply means diluted demand, and therefore less heated competition.

More than ever before, the skills of a proven real estate professional are imperative in achieving the best possible result. With so many ‘as is’ properties on the market, it’s no longer sufficient to plaster ‘AS IS, WHERE IS’ on your marketing materials and expect the punters to show up. With refined contact systems in place, and an ever-growing e-database of over 650 buyers, you can be assured that Team Griff can give you the best chance of extracting the very best from the market. We know this market like the back of our hand.

If you’re one of the 1,000 or so policy holders now embarking on the course of a cash-settlement, we invite you to make contact for a discussion about your options and the necessary precautions. Besides, we are known for achieving great results!

Selling ‘as is’ – the Team Griff difference

Experience-1

Team Griff has chalked up 110 ‘as is, where is’ sales to date and actively marketing fresh stock. We understand the needs of both seller and purchaser and successfully bring the two together to create that win/win outcome. The results speak for themselves!

 

Purchasers

Team Griff has a growing client base of more than 700 ‘as is, where is’ buyers. Often we already have a buyer in hand likely to purchase your property. Many properties are sold without a marketing campaign because we have a buyer on the spot.

 

E-Marketing
Team Griff, Immediately upon commencing the marketing of an as is property, targets its e-data base via a professionally designed email marketing platform. Click here to sign up.

 

Print Media
Team Griff has a proven marketing template which has a track record of getting results. The old adage “it the toy aint broke” keep your hands off it – the results speak for themselves.

 

Hard Copy

We lead the industry with relevant online information and property specific reports. From our first point of marketing this info is readily available at a mere click of a button. We pride ourselves on insisting on and providing comprehensive and relevant structural information. Whether online or in hard copy we have it right on hand – no waiting on massive email files that never arrive.

 

Contractual Terms

Team Griff is well versed in the required contractual terms, and even wrote most of the original terms of sale for ‘as is’ sales. It is important that a vendor is indemnified from liability and a purchaser clear on what they are purchasing.

 

Auction Excellence

With a 97% strike rate under the hammer, unquestionably auction gets the job done and a sold sticker up fast (no lingering conditional periods) our buyers are decisive and take action on the spot! Our team is known for active buyer participation on the day of auction. While we sell many properties without any marketing, consistently auction achieves better results with this type of property.

 

Team Approach

Team Griff have a hands-on, can-do approach – we get in and simply get the job done for you. Our extensive experience means that we actually understand the damage of the home, can interpret reports and represent all parties knowledgeably and with confidence. As experts in this field, you can rest assured that you are in good hands and that we can get the job done. Call us today to experience the ‘Team Griff Difference’.

‘As is’ market builds momentum

As Is Blog PostIt would be fair to say that the “as is where is” market is continuing to build momentum as the practice has simply become an accepted option when considering which way forward with a quake damaged property. Since late last year we have noted that competition for these perceived bargain properties has moved up a level.

Broader cross section of buyers
No longer is it only investors that are seizing these “opportunities” as high yielding rentals; we are now seeing a much broader buyer profile following this niche market. Active participants include builders and those in the construction industry who have the necessary skills and technology to appropriately remediate and return the property back to an insurable level. Also in the mix are parents assisting children into their first home and we now even have a good following for these properties being secured as the family home.

Filling gap of affordable housing
I’ve quoted this before, but in an unusual but positive way the ‘as is, where is’ market is providing a viable solution for affordable housing in Christchurch. Quite frankly I can understand why people say “at this price we can live with a crack in the floor slab or settlement of between 50 – 120mm”. While it is important to make a well-considered decision, take advice and to check over the reports in detail, unquestionably a large percentage of these homes are structurally sound.

Credibility
My team and I have been have taken a consistent approach to insisting on professional reports and in making those readily available to the prospective purchasers when marketing these properties. This I believe has helped bring transparency and ultimately credibility to this emerging market, housing that we believe in most instances will be around for some time yet.

Subscribe to our notifications
As leaders of the “as is where is” marketplace and now with 87 properties sold through utilising our skills and proven marketing programme you can subscribe to our e-notifications in order to be advised when Team Griff’s new listings first come online. Click here to subscribe.

I look forward to meeting you on the street in the marketplace and do feel free to make direct contact with one of my team or read more at Griff.net.nz.

Insurance rebuilds sell well

SOLD: 31 Queenspark Drive, an insurance rebuild, went under offer in its first week on the market for $475,000.

SOLD: 31 Queenspark Drive, an insurance rebuild, went under offer in its first week on the market for $475,000.

Demand strong
This Thursday will see the settlement of our third insurance replacement/new build home that clients have asked us to sell. The demand for these new homes has been strong with two of the three selling prior to marketing, and the third after just one week on the market. The appeal of these properties is being recognised by locals, and when considering them amongst their peers, buyers need little convincing that they are a wise choice. Brand new always has appeal, not to mention future-proofed foundation systems, quality insulation factors and the like.

Values higher than their peers
Our experience is that purchasers are happy to pay more for these homes on the basis of the perceived value for money and the quality and peace of mind of a seismically-proofed home is not hard to justify. Besides these homes are still considerably more affordable than their counterparts in new subdivisions where land and building costs are looking to be recouped by a speculator, building company or owner.

Locals like to live local
These homes have appeal for locals as they like to live within the community that they are familiar with and these areas often provide the amenities and services needed nearby. Besides older communities and suburbs have soul and it’s nice to have that assurance that you will fit into a community, especially so if you already know the locals.

Rebuilding a good choice
Not only for the reasons above, but I often find myself encouraging clients to consider rebuilding when tossing up their insurance options. With so many rebuilds emerging on the horizon and new homes replacing just about every home that is demolished, the vibe is very positive. In fact I would say this is one of the biggest confidence boosters for the eastern suburbs – a very clear message that says “there is life after such a devastating event” – so good on those who have made the choice to rebuild. You won’t regret it and you will stand to get rewarded handsomely when you do choose to sell which has already been proven by the sales to date.

Have a good week and continue to enjoy the upsides of our post-quake rebuild!

‘As Is’ sales scrutinised

Mt Pleasant homes damaged after the February earthquake.

Mt Pleasant homes damaged after the February earthquake.

Last week saw the front page of Wednesday’s paper highlight the concerns raised by the local authorities with regard to “as is” properties flying under the radar. Liz McDonald at The Press reports:

New rules could force owners to reveal details about damage to homes for sale or rent, as concern grows about unrepaired and uninsurable houses.

The Government has confirmed it is looking at ways to address problems emerging with the as-is-where-is housing market in Christchurch.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee acknowledged at the forum that as-is sales were “a problem that is certainly emerging, and one we need to put a great deal of thought into and have solutions for”.

Labour earthquake recovery spokeswoman and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson said the issue was a problem for the whole city, as well as those directly affected.

“There’s a moral argument here. Money is paid out for repairs, it should be used for repairs. Having all these uninsured homes is a societal risk.”

Dyson said central or local government could require details of damage and insurance go on council LIM (land information memorandum) reports until repairs were done, or be listed on sale and purchase agreements.

The bottom line of their concerns is the potential safety risk unsuspecting purchasers and tenants could be exposed to should full disclosure not be made and the appropriate remediation not completed. They are calling for some form of records to be kept and for a Warrant of Fitness system for dwellings to possibly be instigated. While the immediate reaction is for alarm bells to ring, I actually welcome this approach, as this encourages best practice in the industry when dealing with this specialised market.

This also fully endorses my staunch stand with regard to insisting on comprehensive engineer’s reports. Firstly it addresses the question of safety and secondly it forms the absolute baseline of representation with regard to the dwelling’s structural status and integrity. Engineers are the suitably qualified professionals to comment on such matters, not salespeople representing the property on face value.

From experience the buying public welcome transparency and this credible information, indicating that they can make well informed decisions based on good information.

I say bring it on, by raising the bar the “as is” market will only gain more credibility. So get armed with the facts and go forth and buy!

See also: Editor, ‘Good decisions need good info’, The Press, 21 November 2013