Mediation and determination – Canterbury earthquake claims
For homeowners affected by the Canterbury earthquake sequence, the New Zealand Claims Resolution Service (NZCRS) provides two options for resolving disputes relating to an insurance claim.
Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process where you and your insurer agree to meet with an independent third party and attempt to reach a binding settlement on the insurance dispute.
Determination is a voluntary and confidential process where you and your insurer agree to appoint an experienced and independent decision-maker to make a binding decision on the insurance dispute.
How NZCRS dispute resolution services work
Participation in the NZCRS’s dispute resolution services are voluntary. Both parties (you and your insurer or Toka Tū Ake EQC) need to agree to take part in a mediation or determination. However, once you have started a determination, neither party can opt out of the process unless both parties agree.
The terms of a mediated agreement or determination are enforceable in a Court.
You can ask to participate in a mediation or determination at any time after you’ve registered with NZCRS. Your case manager will assess whether your case is suitable for these dispute resolution services, taking into consideration the availability of technical information, the level of precedence the case could have, what advice the parties have received about the areas of dispute, and what processes the case has previously been through (such as a prior mediation or expert facilitation).
Your case manager can also discuss whether mediation or determination is appropriate for your situation and approach the insurer or Toka Tū Ake EQC to seek their agreement. Homeowners are required to try resolving their claim through some form of mediation before entering the determination process.
Before starting a mediation or determination, you will need to agree to the Dispute Resolution Agreement Contract. We will require confirmation that homeowners have received legal advice on the contract before signing it. We can provide free access to independent legal advice.