EQC–update to changes to the Apportionment FAQ

Monday’s blog (here) mentioned changes to how EQC would make it’s apportionment assessment, and that reference to the customer’s apportionment estimate had been removed. Yesterday EQC changed the page again, reinstating that part of the text to the way it was prior to Monday. The two paragraphs (here) now read:

  • If there is no EQC assessment for every claim, then EQC looks at evidence such as the customer’s apportionment estimate and the pattern of damage at similar neighbouring properties.
  • If damage from any of the three events had exceeded the customer’s cap (usually $100,000 +GST), the repair of the home would be managed by the private insurer.

Further evidence that EQC don’t know what they are doing, and the on-going absence of workable quality control? .

Hard bargaining end games

A few weeks ago there was a post on more of the tactics used by hard bargainers (here). Auckland barrister and professional mediator Nigel Dunlop has written the fifth and final article in his series describing hard bargaining tactics. This article describes the games used to put pressure on negotiations to force an unfavourable decision on someone as negotiations seem to be coming to an end. The final instalment is on the NZLawyer online website here. .

EQC – changes to the Apportionment FAQ

EQC today changed some of the layout of its Apportionment FAQ and added more text (here). Perhaps the most significant change occurs at the end of the explanation of how apportionment works, with the removal of the paragraph (underlining added):

If there is no EQC assessment for every claim, then EQC looks at evidence such as the customer’s apportionment estimate and the pattern of damage at similar neighbouring properties.

and replacing it with:

If the damage to your home wasn’t assessed after each event, EQC needs to use a variety of methods to establish how damage should be apportioned. These include comparing the damage with other properties in the area where we know what damage occurred and when it occurred. It also includes information provided by the homeowner.

Presumably the “customer’s apportionment estimate” contained in the old version was too inconvenient for EQC to live with, and so it had to be replaced by something that gave them more more wriggle-room. One wonders under what authority EQC can keep changing the “rules”, whether they intend to make them retrospective, and how such changes ensures consistency of treatment throughout the assessment programme. NOTE: some of the changes were reversed on the 4th of December – see here.

More about dealing with hard bargainers

Back on the 2nd of August there was a blog item Dealing with hard bargainers, in which the bargaining tactics used by professional, and at times less than scrupulous, negotiators might use (think people working for insurance companies, EQC, ACC, government policy people and cabinet ministers). The blog item was based on articles written by Auckland barrister and professional mediator Nigel Dunlop (here). Nigel Dunlop has written another article about dealing with these sorts of people called Still more hard bargaining tactics.  In the article he covers ten tactics of which he says:

The 10 further tactics described below involve a heavy dose of pretence and deception. I am not necessarily advocating their use. As mentioned in my previous articles, the use of tactics should have regard to considerations of ethics and personal style. However, knowledge of the tactics enables defence against their use.

1. Representative cloak
2. Phantom player
3. Disguising opinion as fact
4. Feinting
5. Red herring
6. Linkage
7. Trial balloon
8. ‘Predicting’ a favourable offer
9. ‘Failing’ to understand
10. Appearing irrational

The full article is here. .

EQC – Apportionment explained

EQC have updated their website to provide more detail on what apportionment means, and how it is worked out. From the EQC website.

Many Canterbury homes have suffered damage from more than one earthquake. Settling claims where damage has been caused by a number of successive ‘events’ is much more complex than settling claims from a single natural disaster. That’s because EQC cannot assess the overall damage and settle the claim on that basis. We must attribute – or apportion – the damage to individual events. How apportionment is worked out If your home has been assessed after each event, apportionment is straightforward – we’ll have records of the damage that occurred with each quake. However, because of the number of successive earthquakes and aftershocks that have caused damage and been classed as ‘events’, in the majority of cases it hasn’t been possible to assess the damage each time. Therefore, for the majority of homes, EQC needs to use a variety of methods to establish how damage should be apportioned. These may include:

  • any actual assessment(s) completed by EQC
  • looking at information provided by the homeowner or private insurer about the damage caused by each event
  • analysing the damage to other similar homes in the area.

They continue with some examples of how apportionment works.  Other issues covered are:

  • How apportionment affects your claims
  • What to do if you don’t agree with how damage has been apportioned
  • Delays to settling some claims
  • Apportionment and EQC

The webpage is here and a claims factsheet here. .