The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) today urged residential Canterbury customers to contact their insurer if they have an outstanding 2010/2011 earthquake claim and are unsure on how the Limitation Act will affect them. Back in 2015, ICNZ advised Canterbury residents that the main residential private insurers would not rely on the Limitations Act before 4 September 2017.  At that time and even today, there are different interpretations of how the Act applies in different cases.  Given the uncertainty surrounding how the Act applies, insurers and EQC have taken a range of positions. “We encourage any homeowner with an outstanding Canterbury earthquake claim to contact their insurer to discuss the individual circumstances of their claim” said Insurance Council Chief Executive Tim Grafton. “Residents with Canterbury claims can have peace of mind on this issue by getting something in writing from their own insurer so they can continue to focus on reaching settlement.  If customers are in any doubts about their position they should speak to their insurer” he said. “There is no need to worry about rushing to Court and incurring costs to protect your legal position when you can simply make a call to your insurer to understand its position on its Limitation Act rights in relation to your claim” he said. The Limitation Act applies to any claim made in the courts, not just insurance claims.  It gives a defence where more than six years have elapsed since the act or omission giving rise to the claim. The intention of the Act is to ensure that claimants do not cause undue delay bringing claims to court and provides certainty to defendants.

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