Consultation opens on new dispute resolution scheme

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Consultation opened recently on a new, independent dispute resolution scheme to support insured home owners disputing decisions about their natural hazards insurance claims under the new Natural Hazards Insurance Act 2023 (NHI Act) which will come into effect on July 1, 2024.  

“We understand how important it is for anyone affected by a natural disaster to get their insurance claim settled in a timely and fair manner, and to have some certainty,” Toka Tu Ake EQC (the Commission) chief executive Tina Mitchell says.  

“We understand that there will be times when people do not agree with the settlement they receive, and it’s important that they have an independent and easy way to raise and resolve their dispute,” Mitchell says.

“We encourage people to engage with internal complaints processes in the first instance to resolve their disputes. They will also have the option to contact the external dispute resolution service provider. 

“While there are existing external mechanisms for resolving disputes now, this new scheme will provide a simpler, easy-to-navigate pathway, with direct support to home owners right from the beginning of the dispute process,” Mitchell says.   

The scheme will be available to help resolve disputes about decisions on whether a claim for natural hazard damage is valid, or the amount of the settlement.

Claims for damage caused by natural hazard events on or after July 1, 2024 will be eligible to use the dispute resolution scheme.  

“Fair Way Resolution is our preferred provider to deliver the external dispute resolution scheme. We’re keen to hear from insured home owners, as well as community members, groups and organisations,” Mitchell says. 

“We are asking for feedback on the scheme rules and design, and whether there is anything else that needs to be included to ensure the process is fair and reasonable.” 

All submissions will be considered, and will help inform the dispute resolution scheme.  

Background information and consultation guidance, the draft scheme rules, and details on how to make a submission are available at
www.eqc.govt.nz/about-eqc/community-input/consultations/nhi-act-dispute-resolution-scheme.

Anyone can provide feedback by 5pm on Wednesday March 6, 2024, by using an online form, emailing, or posting a submission, or by phoning the Commission on 0800 DAMAGE.  

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