Rout v Southern Response – Judge decides rebuild not repair


In the judgment released 6 December 2013 in Rout v Southern Response Earthquake Services Ltd [2013] NZHC 3262 Justice Gendall decided that Southern Response was in breach of  its policy obligations by wanting to settle the Routs’ claim, based on a repair cost of $263K.  The Court held that the insurance company was liable for to pay up to $693K for the Routs to rebuild a house.  Importantly he  held that an insurance company is liable to return the house to the “as new” floor level.  This will be particularly beneficial to home owners whose houses have dropped.