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Customers get certainty on ILV land damage

Most of the 8,500 green zone customers who last year received a letter from EQC that their property potentially has Increased Liquefaction Vulnerability (ILV) land damage will be contacted in the next two months to confirm whether or not this is the case.

“The first qualification packs have gone out this week and we expect to give certainty to all affected customers by early next year at the latest”, EQC Head of Canterbury Land, Keith Land says. Settling claims for ILV land damage is a world first and has involved a significant amount of geotechnical research and engineering assessments by EQC’s engineers Tonkin and Taylor.“We acknowledge it’s taken time to get to this stage and we would like to thank our customers for their patience. We’re confident all the work that has been done to date has contributed to a robust assessment process which should give homeowners confidence that all properties have been assessed fairly and consistently,” Mr Land says.

The engineering assessment methodology, which was developed by Tonkin and Taylor, was peer reviewed by an independent expert review panel, comprising world-leading liquefaction researchers.

EQC will use a two-stage approach to advise customers what EQC’s ILV settlement decision is for their property. This reflects feedback received from customers who said they want to hear from EQC as soon as relevant information about their properties becomes available.

“The next stage of the process will be to send those customers whose properties do qualify a settlement pack, with detailed information on the basis of the settlement and payment amount. The settlement packs will be sent out throughout 2016,” Mr Land says. EQC will cash settle ILV land damage and not manage the repair of ILV land, which is in line with how EQC has settled claims for other types of land damage caused by the Canterbury earthquakes.

Cash settlements for ILV land damage will be based on one of two approaches: cost of repair or the reduction in market value of the property due to ILV land damage, also called Diminution of Value (DOV). “How exactly it’s going to look in terms of the settlement approaches and the amount for each of the qualifying properties is something we are working through now,” Mr Land says.

Later this year and early next year EQC is holding a number of community meetings around Christchurch for homeowners who receive confirmation from EQC about whether or not their property has ILV land damage. “We want customers to have an opportunity to hear from us and our engineering advisers Tonkin and Taylor face-to-face, so that they can get a good understanding of what‘s been involved in making the qualification decision for their property,” Mr Land says.

More information about the meetings and ILV land damage in general, including a comprehensive list of questions and answers, can be found here.

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