The press today reported private insurers urged Government not to publish booklet for Canterbury homeowners. This is totally unacceptable. As a trustee of the Canterbury Insurance Assistance Service we could see two years ago that cash settlement and more importantly what homeowners needed to know after they got the cash was going to be vitally important.
The document the insurers didnt want released is here: Cash Settlement Booklet
Alongside this booklet there was also intention to develop a web and TV series about what homeowners options were and what needed to be thought about once cash settled. This was planned on the back of the success of the Covered Series we partnered to bring out.
Insurers wanted to control how their clients got information about cash settlements and what they should do afterwards. One insurer was very active in stopping this.
MBIE (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) was involved in developing the content and plan in consultation with others. The original plan was to have a cash settlement pack, with the video set to support the written information, later when the video series was not progressed, only the booklet was left.
The booklet was scrapped because insurers couldnt agree on a uniform cash setltement process. Each wanting to have their own way. There was an attempt to try and only provide the information that was the same accross the industry but MBIE complicated that and the insurers put a stop to the whole thing. It was the usual story of bureaucratic control overwhelming and killing innovation and progress.
The government no matter how complex things got could have and should have still sided with the people and supported the release of the booklet and the TV video series. But they didn't and in the end nothing was done.
Ultimately the homeowner lost out. Well done to Megan Woods for getting this information out of parliament, but it should not ever have to be this far if insurers and the government thought about the people and their needs first.
click the image below to view the booklet