One stop shop for earthquake claimants launched

A new one stop shop service has been set up to fast track outstanding residential insurance claims, Minister Megan Woods announced today.

The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service (GCCRS) has been established to provide homeowners a free to access, impartial pathway to settle their claims.

“Our new one stop shop will provide independent case management to bring together fast tracked claims handling, specialist engineering support, psychosocial support, and legal expertise to help resolve claims.

“I asked for this service to be established following the report of my Independent Ministerial Advisor into EQC earlier in the year. It was clear to me that more needed to be done to help people who have been stranded for years waiting for their claims to be resolved.

“Claimants will also be given access to a new online tool where they can see clearly what the next step is for their claim, who is going to do it, and when it will be done by.

"GCCRS will operate on a ‘no wrong door’ basis. Anyone with an unresolved claim can call or come to the new office on Cashel Street and our settlement support brokers will tailor the approach to suit each individual situation.

“Claimants will have one person in charge of their claim who will drive it along for them – they won’t need to call up and speak to a different person all the time. They will know who is responsible for settling their claim.

“I have asked EQC and Southern Response to develop new processes to ensure a streamlined, cross-agency resolution process. I am also inviting private insurers to also join this scheme.

GCCRS is being hosted and operated by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

The service will provide homeowners access to engineering, legal and well-being support through expert advisory groups. A homeowner advisory group will also be established to ensure the needs of homeowners are being met. Formal work to establish these groups commences today and the chairs of each will be part of the overarching advisory committee, which also includes representatives of MBIE, Treasury, EQC and Southern Response.

“I encourage anyone who has an unresolved claim or a potential concern with a repair to contact the new service,” says Megan Woods.

Organisations such as Engineering New Zealand and Community Law Canterbury are also involved in GCCRS’ system-wide approach.

Homeowners who would like to discuss their claim with GCCRS can call 0508 624 327, email contact@gccrs.govt.nz or visit Level 2, 145-161 Cashel Street, Christchurch. More information on GCCRS is available at www.gccrs.govt.nz