February deadline for commercial earthquake claims

If you have an unresolved commercial claim for damage relating to the 22 February 2011 Canterbury earthquake and you have not yet filed proceedings, we recommend you contact your lawyer urgently.

Who’s affected?
Commercial policyholders with unresolved earthquake claims relating to damage caused by the 22 February 2011 earthquake may be affected under the Limitation Act 2010 (the ‘Act’).
Domestic policyholders with unresolved earthquake claims are not affected under the Act.
What’s the issue?
The Act may provide insurers with a ‘time-bar’ defence against unresolved commercial insurance claims where more than six years has passed since the act or omission giving rise to the claim occurred.
As such, from 22 February 2017, commercial policyholders may be prevented from bringing successful proceedings against their insurers in the pursuit of unresolved earthquake claims relating to damage caused by the 22 February 2011 earthquake.
What happens if the claims deadline is missed?
We’ve been supporting a small number of our commercial clients with unresolved earthquake claims and we can confirm that, in our experience, insurers have not granted extensions to the six-year claim limitation period.
If a claim is time-barred by the insurer under the Act, the insurer may try to settle a claim on less favourable terms and the policyholder would have no redress through the courts.
Who can I talk to about it?
If you have an unresolved commercial earthquake claim and you have not yet filed proceedings, please contact your lawyer urgently to protect your legal position.
For any other questions about your commercial insurance cover, please contact your broker.

Published on Monday, February 13th, 2017, under Latest News