Southern Response Compensation Settlement
Are you entitled to more earthquake compensation
As has been widely reported in the media, the last few years have seen two separate, but factually similar, cases work their way through the courts relating to AMI / Southern Response cash settlements for earthquake damage claims arising out of the 2010/2011 Christchurch Earthquakes. Both cases challenged the practice adopted by Southern Response (until 1 October 2014) of issuing two Detailed Repair Analysis’ (DRA’s). One of these was shown to the customer purporting to be the full ‘cost to repair’ and was used as the basis for cash settlements. The other, which Southern Response knew represented the actual cost to repair, included additional costs such as demolition costs, professional fees and contingencies. This was retained by the insurer internally and not disclosed to customer. This practice has, appropriately, been held to be misleading and deceptive conduct.
The most high-profile case challenging this practice was the Ross Class Action. In a landmark decision in September 2019, the Court of Appeal ruled everyone who settled with Southern Response before 2014 was “opted in” as a party to this action (because they were subject to the same DRA treatment by Southern Response).
The second case was that of Karl and Alison Dodds, and this essentially overtook the class action when the High Court ruled in August 2019 that Southern Response’s practice constituted misleading and deceptive conduct. The Court of Appeal upheld this decision in September 2020 after Southern Response appealed.
In response to the Dodds decision the Government put together a compensation package for affected homeowners which follows the Court’s calculation approach in Dodds. In many cases this compensation is in the region of 20% of the original settlement reached, plus interest. Southern Response are advising customers to take independent legal advice in relation to the additional settlement and have offered to pay $2,000 towards those legal costs.
We are in direct contact with Southern Response’s solicitors and have a specialist insurance team who can assist you to recover any additional compensation to which you may be entitled. We have assisted many claimants in this regard. For standard cases we are offering to cap our fee at the $2,000 the insurer will pay towards it so there is no additional cost to you.
If you think you might be eligible and would like us to assist or would like to discuss further please get in touch with Stuart Stock or Elliot Nye.