23 Feb 2016

Christchurch couple still waiting for quake claim

8:17 pm on 23 February 2016

A home owner in Christchurch who has been waiting five years for an insurance claim settlement says it's not good enough and the house should have been demolished.

Miranda and Nick Rout want their earthquake-damaged house in Linwood to be demolished so they can move on.

Miranda Rout and her husband, Nick, want their earthquake-damaged house in Linwood to be demolished. Photo: RNZ / Checkpoint

The Labour Party is calling on the government to resolve outstanding earthquake claims by the end of the year.

More on the five-year anniversary of the quake

About 4600 claims have not yet been settled, and one of those belongs to Miranda and Nick Rout.

It has been five years and one day since the couple's house in Linwood, which they shared with their four children, was damaged.

The Routs are still paying a mortgage on it - and rent on another house - while they wait for their insurance company, IAG, to resolve their claim.

An entire part of the house is missing, windows are falling out and a wall is bowing.

Mrs Rout told Checkpoint with John Campbell they were told the house would cost $260,000 to repair but that figure kept changing.

"We signed a building contract in November 2013 for a repair date of four months, and each time they do more work they find out there are more problems.

"Everybody that saw it thought it would have been bowled."

Miranda and Nick Rout want their earthquake-damaged house in Linwood to be demolished so they can move on.

Photo: RNZ / Checkpoint

Miranda and Nick Rout want their earthquake-damaged house in Linwood to be demolished so they can move on.

Photo: RNZ / Checkpoint

Miranda and Nick Rout want their earthquake-damaged house in Linwood to be demolished so they can move on.

Photo: RNZ / Checkpoint

The family was treading water financially while they waited for the insurer's decision, Mrs Rout said.

"We're paying rent and mortgage and trying to keep a business afloat and a family afloat."

They were waiting for IAG - as part of a dispute resolution process - to approve funding to get a builder and an engineer into the house to scope what was needed, she said.

"We've said 'no more work, we've had enough, we emotionally can't take it any more, we don't even want to come back home - we just want to cash settle and just try and move on'."

IAG general manager for customer reinstatement Renee Walker said the delays had been because of pre-existing problems found with the house.

The insurer would be making a settlement offer to the couple this week, she said.

"We have got independent building surveyers and valuers now looking at their home so we can make them a fair settlement offer, and allow them to move on in a way that works best for them."

Asked to comment on Labour leader Andrew Little's call for all cases to be resolved by the end of the year, Ms Walker said IAG expected 95 percent of its claims to be sorted by June.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs