Multiple Insurance Claims


The recent decision in Ridgecrest NZ Ltd v IAG New Zealand [2012] NZHC considered whether Ridgecrest was entitled to be paid for the damage resulting each earthquake up to the limit of the sum insured in each case.  These were unique facts.  The sum insured for any one event was $1.984M.  All of the relevant earthquakes occurred in one policy period and there was no reinstatement clause in the insurance policy.  Additionally, contrary to the policy wording the insurer commenced repairs that were not completed after the earthquakes on 4 September 2010 and 23 December 201o.  The Court was considering a preliminary question formulated by the parties about the policy.  Dobson J decided that in the particular circumstances the insured could not recover from the insurance company for amounts not spent on repairs prior to the building becoming total loss.  The precedent value of this decision is minimal.