INDEPENDENT NEWS

EQ Homeowners Group Supports Engineering Instruction

Published: Thu 1 Aug 2019 09:02 PM
EQ Homeowners Group Supports Promotion and Use of Engineering Instruction
An engineering brief template developed to improve outcomes for claimants with earthquake damaged homes, has been given the thumbs up.
The Homeowners Advisory Group (HOAG), which works alongside the Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service (GCCRS), says the brief is a “good document” that more people should know about and use when they engage an engineer to provide technical advice in relation to an insurance claim.
HOAG Chair, Tom McBrearty, says the engineering brief template, or instruction as it is also known, clearly reinforces the need to correctly identify earthquake damage and recommend reinstatement as per the property owner’s insurance policy, the EQC Act and in accordance with any necessary building regulations.
“For too long, the insurance response has not always been acknowledged in this process,” he says. “It’s been about identifying obvious, visible damage and in many cases with a view to quickly and cost effectively returning people to their homes. This has, in our opinion, created a whole host of issues – failed repairs being one significant one,” he says. “Engineers have been doing what has been asked of them and that’s their job but the briefs they have been provided with, in our opinion, are woefully deficient in a number of cases.”
He adds that it is heartening to see Engineering New Zealand acting on behalf of its members to listen to and acknowledge homeowners’ concerns by promoting the use of an engineering brief template that aims to respond in accordance with the insurance contract.
HOAG Technical Advisor, David Townshend, says working with Engineering New Zealand to develop the brief has been a positive step forward.
“Consistency in approach has been a big focus of the HOAG. There are still many homeowners who have disagreements with insurers simply because the experts have been engaged differently,” he says. “It’s like comparing apples and oranges, so having a brief that is common and agreed between the insurer and insured can remove many technical disagreements and make claim settlement quicker and simpler.”
Engineering New Zealand General Manager – Legal and Policy Helen Davidson says having one standard template for engaging an engineer lets engineers focus on the technical issues, rather than getting dragged into legal interpretation of insurance policies.
“Anyone can use our template to engage an engineer to carry out a damage assessment and provide reinstatement recommendations. Using the template helps make sure everyone involved is on the same page – and can prevent later conflict.”
David Townshend says, while the HOAG agrees that engineering experts are generally not legally qualified to interpret insurance policies, they are the only ones qualified to comment on technical matters within their area of expertise which need to be linked back to insurance principals. “A good engineering engagement accomplishes that,” he says.
Tom McBrearty says the HOAG is also recommending to EQC that they use the brief template.
“We’ve had a positive response from EQC and we look forward to progress being made,” he says.
The template letter of engagement can be found here https://www.engineeringnz.org/our-work/christchurch-residential-earthquake-claims-service/engaging-engineer/
ENDS

Next in New Zealand politics

Government announces plan to tackle problem plastics
By: New Zealand Government
On The New Lockdowns, Leadership And Lebanon
By: Gordon Campbell
National Selects Emma Mellow As Auckland Central Candidate
By: New Zealand National Party
Update on New Zealand and the Cook Islands travel bubble
By: New Zealand Government
Speech: Ardern - Let’s Keep Moving - 2020 Election Campaign Launch
By: New Zealand Labour Party
On Political Twins, And On Labour Extending Its Wage Subsidy Scheme
By: Gordon Campbell
Democracy 2.0 Delivered In Aotearoa NZ: NextElection Partners With Scoop For Exciting Democracy Tech
By: The Scoop Editors
Overall, 82% Trust Pandemic’s Management – Down From 91%
By: Horizon Research Limited
National Releases 2020 Party List
By: New Zealand National Party
How Judith Collins stopped the bleeding
By: Horizon Research Limited
Your Vote 2020: Bringing Election Coverage To Viewers Across TVNZ Channels And Platforms
By: TVNZ
30% Believe Households Worse Off, 298,000 Expect To Lose Jobs
By: Horizon Research Limited
Findings Of Investigation Into COVID-19 Active Cases Privacy Breach
By: State Services Commission
New Zealand suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong
By: New Zealand Government
WasteMINZ Pleased To See Phase Out Of Single-use Plastic Items
By: WasteMINZ
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media