IAG has begun to audit repairs it makes to earthquake-damaged homes as part of its Canterbury Recovery programme.
An independent building surveyor is looking at 20 houses chosen at random from about 800 completed repairs and miniature ‘critter cams’ (underfloor cameras) are being used to check the quality of foundations beneath hundreds of IAG customers’ homes.
This follows support from IAG for a survey conducted by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). The MBIE survey reviewed 101 Canterbury homes, including seven homes of IAG customers, that underwent structural repairs for which consents weren’t required. The MBIE report is due for release shortly, but information leaked to the media identified examples of deficient underfloor work that has caused concern for some homeowners.
IAG is checking work, including using special cameras to give customers confidence that their repairs are compliant and successful and to prevent issues arising from sub-standard repairs later down the line. Renee Walker, General Manager Customer Solutions for Canterbury Recovery, said that homeowners have welcomed the initiative. Of those approached only one had declined the offer to participate.
Homeowners who opt for their insurer to manage the repair of their property agree a contract with a builder who then becomes their point of contact for any concerns they may have about work carried out. As the contract is between the builder and the homeowner, insurers are unable to take legal action for poor repairs but IAG customers can get help with the process.
Renee said: “Although we’re not a party to the building contract, we want to make sure that our customers are protected and that the work we are paying for, and the homes we are continuing to insure, are compliant and safe. The critter cams will give us and our customers confidence that all works carried out are of a tradesman like standard and compliant with the building code”.