15 December, 2014
Vero Insurance today announced the historic $550 million settlement of the University of Canterbury’s earthquake claims. Five New Zealand based co-insurers join Vero in making the largest private insurer-lead settlement in NZ.
“This has been a lengthy settlement process that involved multiple assessments for a total of 237 buildings that required specialist review and detailed analysis for each of the earthquakes that caused damage. Throughout the negotiation process insurers have been making progress payments to ensure that the University continues to operate.
“This agreement takes the major commercial settlements, led by Vero, in the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery to more than $1.5 billion for critical community and public infrastructure such as universities, schools, public housing, hospitals and transport,” said Vero Chief Executive Officer, Gary Dransfield.
Vero has paid out almost $3.9 billion of its total costs towards the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery programme.
“The University is set to receive the outstanding settlement money by the end of January 2015 and this will take our total settlement figure over the $4 billion mark.
“The agreement is a great example of the benefit to Kiwis of having locally based private insurers leading some of the largest insurance settlement agreements in New Zealand,” said Dransfield.
A dedicated commercial settlement team, lead by Vero, represented the private insurers and worked closely with the reinsurers and the team from the University. As lead insurer Vero has the biggest share of the claim and also has access to a skilled senior in-house commercial earthquake claims settlement team, lead by Roy Duffy, Head of Commercial Earthquake Claims, that has been involved in most of their large commercial settlements.
The ability to bring on board a local team that successfully negotiated other major commercial settlements was beneficial to the University as they were able to share insights from previous consultations.
“This is the result of a team of professionals working to ensure all parties are comfortable with the outcome. We were committed to reaching a resolution that allowed the University to take control of their reinstatement plan. The process followed has been comprehensive and thorough and we wish the management team at the University success in implementing their repair and rebuild plans,” said Dransfield.
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