You may recall that some time ago we alerted you to court proceedings seeking to force Southern Response to pay additional funds for EQC claims settled prior to October 2014. Those proceedings have now made their way through the Courts and there are some points that you should be aware of if you had an AMI house insurance policy and settled your earthquake insurance claim with Southern Response prior to October 2014.
Prior to this date, Southern Response operated a system which used two scopes of works called Detailed Repair Analysis or DRA’s. One copy was provided to homeowners and excluded costs that Southern Response felt that it was not obliged to pay homeowners in certain circumstances. These costs included demolition costs, engineering and design fees and contingency fees. It is estimated that these additional costs could average $100,000 per claim.
In 2014 the Courts determined that Southern Response was obliged to pay these amounts to the homeowner and Southern Response started including these costs in settlements. Southern Response did not retrospectively pay the claims it had settled prior to that court case. This resulted in two further court cases on almost identical terms – the “Dodds case” and the “Southern Response class action” - which determined that Southern Response was liable to pay the disputed funds to all claims settled prior to October 2014. In the Southern Response class action case, the court held that all the approximately 3000 claimants were included in the class action unless they opted out by 20th December 2021. Many people do not know that they have been included in the class action and they could be liable for class action costs if they do not opt out in time.
If you, or someone you know, settled an earthquake insurance claim with Southern Response prior to October 2014 please contact us urgently to discuss your options.