Lower payments on claims defended

8:22 pm on 18 December 2012

A property owner in central Christchurch says attempts by insurance companies to limit the amount of money they end up paying for earthquake damage, are just part of doing business.

Many claims from the February earthquake have still not been settled and are ending up in court.

Property lawyer Emily Watson said insurers are resisting paying the full replacement cost on damaged commercial buildings.

But Ernest Duval said only a minority of cases are ending up in court out of thousands of claims being dealt with by insurers.

He said that reducing payouts has always been part of the business model employed by insurance companies.

Mr Duval said in many cases owners decide to accept a lower cash offer on their property, so they can invest their money elsewhere.