Southern Response policyholders entitled to part of $300m payout

Southern Response policyholders in Christchurch are eligible to receive compensation which is...
Southern Response policyholders in Christchurch are eligible to receive compensation which is expected to cost the Government-owned company $300 million. Photo: File
Southern Response policyholders in Christchurch are eligible to receive compensation which is expected to cost the government-owned company $300 million.

In August 2019, the High Court found Southern Response had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct.

Peter Woods of Anthony Harper, acting for Karl and Alison Dodds, established that the insurer had misrepresented their insurance entitlements.

Southern Response appealed against this decision but it was dismissed.

At least 3000 Christchurch policyholders settled their claims before October 1, 2014, to receive compensation of $100,000 each on average.

"The judgment in favour of our clients, Karl and Alison Dodds has opened the way to rectify thousands of Southern Response claims," Woods said.

"Following the judgment, Southern Response intended to contact homeowners it considered eligible for a top-up cash settlement. The Ross Class Action objected to Southern Response contacting homeowners directly, as all affected homeowners are in the Class Action, until they opt out.

"The Court has now directed that Southern Response may not deal with those homeowners directly, but it may deal with lawyers acting for those homeowners outside the Class Action."

Woods is urging the homeowners to engage with a lawyer to apply for the balance due to them.

Karl Dodds said they are ecstatic their claim has led to this outcome for other homeowners, a decade after the Canterbury earthquakes damaged their homes.

"We urge everyone to seek legal advice immediately. Unlike our case, we think that this will be a simple process."

Southern Response was set up by the Government when insurer AMI failed in 2012, to settle outstanding claims from policyholders.

• Anyone who thinks they are eligible for the Southern Response payment should submit their claim information and a request for legal advice.

 

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