14 Dec 2010

Quake-hit businesses say insurers unfair

8:06 pm on 14 December 2010

Some Christchurch businesses filing earthquake-related claims are accusing insurance companies of treating them unfairly.

The owner of one firm says her insurance company deducted the initial Government-awarded wage subsidy from the eventual payout.

The City Seafood Market on Manchester Street received an initial $11,000 wage subsidy from the Government to pay its staff for the first month after the 7.1 earthquake in September.

Owner Angela Leonard says her insurer treated that as earnings and deducted it from her eventual payout.

Ms Leonard says the company on Monday finally agreed to return the money - after two months of fighting.

The owner of Honeypot Cafe, Rob Gould, received an email from New Zealand Insurance last week saying his claim for loss of profit was being docked by 25% of normal turnover, because fewer people are spending money in the city.

Mr Gould and Ms Leonard say many other businesses are in the same situation and want the Government to hold the insurers accountable.