Insurance, earthquakes and building consents


Below is a communication from the Property Law Section of the NZ Law Society.

 

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26 July 2013

Dear Grant

Availability of insurance
The recent earthquakes in central New Zealand have prompted insurers to limit the availability of new insurance policies in Wellington and Marlborough.  This reaction from the insurance companies is consistent with that in Canterbury when issue of new insurance policies was suspended after each of the significant earthquake events in 2010 and 2011.

This can create difficulties in property transactions, especially those which are due to settle in the coming days.  However, it does not necessarily follow that settlement cannot occur.

I recommend that those who have clients settling soon should treat each case individually and contact the vendor’s insurer.  There may be scope to arrange cover:

  1. Where the vendor and purchaser are clients of the same insurer;
  2. Where the vendor’s insurer is willing to provide cover to the purchaser;
  3. Where both parties would prefer to delay settlement to allow time to arrange appropriate cover.

Those entering into Agreements for Sale and Purchase over the coming days and weeks should consider including an insurance clause as a further term.  Members may want to consider the example insurance clauses in Part H of the recently launched NZLS/REINZ Useful Clauses Booklet.  Members should also expect real estate licensees to add such a clause into Agreements.

BNZ Lending Centre Wellington
The BNZ Wellington building will  be closed for the foreseeable future.

BNZ Lending Services Wellington has redirected its fax and phone numbers to Auckland Lending Services which has picked up the work in the meantime. Solicitors can continue to use the numbers they already have. If they have any concerns as to whether the requests have been received, please ask them to call Auckland Lending Services on 09 3671781 for disbursements and 09 9766652 for discharges of mortgages.

If there are any concerns or issues, please feel free to call Lending Services Wellington Manager Leigh Costello on 029 2005160.

Christchurch City Council consenting issues
You may remember an email bulletin on 8 July advising you that the section was making enquiries regarding the issue of building consents by Christchurch City Council.  We are currently considering an initial response from the Government on the matter and will revert back to you with further details in due course.  In the meantime, lawyers must give careful consideration to the advice given to clients in relation to consents.

Kind regards

Andrew Logan
Chair

Property Law Section, New Zealand Law Society, 26 Waring Taylor Street, PO Box 5041, Wellington 6145, DX SP20202 Phone: 04 472 7837 Fax: 04 463 2983

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