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Listing all posts with label Christchurch earthquake. Show all posts.
  1. As a Result of the Canterbury Earthquake more and more people have been dealing with stress both of a financial nature and in the anxiety stakes.  In April Janine Starks put together ten helpful tips on coping and I thought it an appropriate time to remind all those affected of things they can do to relieve the stress factor.

    Whether you’ve lost a home, have damage, lost your job, or are now worried about job security, thinking too far ahead makes the problem seem insurmountable. Instead, refocus yourself on the very short term – just the next month or two. Getting back that feeling of control, in some small fashion has a calming effect.

    I’m a great believer that collecting information, record keeping and being pro-active goes a long way in regaining control. An organised person conquers a problem with far less stress than those who ‘wing-it’

    1. Start a folder: a ring-binder with dividers. If you home is your financial problem, type up a summary page – your address and contact details; EQC claim number; your insurers details and policy number; bank account details; a full list of contact details for your assessor, claims handler, engineer, builder, moving company, storage unit. Have it all in one place so you are not scrambling.

    2. File your paperwork: policy document, latest insurance schedule, any letters or emails from EQC, the title to your property, floor plans of your property if you have them. Start a section for photos of property damage, contents claim, correspondence with your insurer and assessor. Have a notes page for writing down the date of phone calls and what was said. Print off all emails and file them. Confirm any verbal conversations on email to your claims handler or assessor.

    3. Don’t bother ringing EQC incessantly: you’ll get more and more wound up. But if you send them anything, call and make sure it’s on your file.

    4. Talk to friends affected by the last earthquake: find out their tips – we are our own experts.

    5. Start collecting information. When EQC arrive on your doorstep for a full visit, you should be fully armed. Have copies ready of any building report, building quotes, engineers report, floor plans etc. What a waste of their time, if they need to explain how a contents claim works. Every broken item should be photographed and numbered, written up on a schedule, with a quote for replacement. This is a laborious task, but the internet is a wonderful tool. Prices of TVs and crockery can all be printed off. If you can’t find the exact model, something close is fine. If the shop you purchased it from is no longer, retailers in other cities can be helpful.

    6. Read your policy document: dull as it sounds, check the definition of your ‘home’. Ring your insurer and check to see whether items like your ‘deck’ are covered. I was told ours wasn’t as we hadn’t declared its size, but we managed to over-turn that.

    7. Find out what EQC don’t cover: with fences, patios, paths, pools, driveways you won’t need to deal with EQC. Go straight to your insurer to have them repaired.

    8. ‘Other people’ don’t have priority: its negative thinking and total rubbish. Those who appear to be making more progress are usually being pro-active and spending some of their own money to get early answers so they can push their insurer into action.

    9. Get pro-active: don’t sit around and assume your damage is under $100,000. The 15 minute EQC visit was not carried out by engineers or builders. My own home in Redcliffs was given category 4 (minor damage, 9 month wait). Our private engineer confirmed there is easily more than $100,000 of damage. Carrying out your own engineers report can cost $900. Anyone living on a hill should seriously consider it. Alternatively go for a builder's report as they can help identify hidden damage. Don’t assume every builder is busy as specialist companies spend all day doing reports. Expect a 3-4 week wait (no biggie).

    10. Stay proactive with your insurance assessor: they will take photos and have a good eye, but they are not a builder or an engineer. View them as a ‘go-between’. Keep asking what the next step is and what they need from you. They will bring in a proper building assessor who will price up the damage. Then they’ll hand over to project managers who organise the repairs, once EQC have paid out. In the case of a total rebuild, you may be allowed to opt for a full service architect who will project manage as well as provide new plans


    The full article can be found at http://www.interest.co.nz/insurance/53091/financial-columnist-janine-starks-prescribes-10-steps-deal-financial-stress-after-ch  Janine Starks writes a regular column in The Press and is Co-Managing Director of Liontamer Investments.

  2. As New Zealanders we are constantly being told we don’t save enough.

    From International Rating Agencies that downgrade us, to politicians and to the Reserve Bank Governor, the message is: we are spending too much on living for today and not enough on providing for our tomorrows.

    Saving for retirement and other future needs will without doubt mean we will better off in the long run. But these savings also benefit the country – particularly if we invest them productively.

    For New Zealand to achieve prosperity and additional job creation, significant investment is required. Every factory, plantation/forest, shopping mall or engineering project needs investment capital to turn it from a bright idea into reality. That capital can come from two places: New Zealand or overseas (borrowing).

    The more we as New Zealanders’ save, the greater the pool of investment resources to draw from. Of course, not all of our savings should be invested locally – remember that one of the golden rules of investment is diversification – but certainly a reasonable proportion invested at home makes good sense.

    As a country our past savings record has been dismal. For a start, we don’t save enough and, when we do save some money, many of us tend to put it in the bank rather than where it can work more productively – for example, investing in the sharemarket.

    That’s why around two-thirds of the New Zealand sharemarket and many of our former state assets are now owned by offshore investors – investors who were willing to invest where we either didn’t want to or weren’t able to due to a lack of savings!

    As I said before, there are two places to get capital – New Zealand and overseas.  And borrowing from overseas has effectively seen our country being downgraded!

    The recent earthquakes in Christchurch are going to cost the country a considerable sum of money. One of the many ways the Government will be looking to raise the necessary money to kick start the infrastructure rebuild will be the issuing of bonds. These bonds will be critical for the economy and could possibly be a prudent portion of a diversified portfolio. Details on these bonds will probably be available in coming months.

    Having healthy savings levels means a country can call on domestic capital for important projects and investment. As a result, individuals end up better off through better returns on their money – and we also benefit as a nation.

    Whichever way you look at it, saving money makes sense – for us and for the country!

  3. In an article (Publisher's Perspective: Separation of Church 16 June 2011) by Graham Rich of FinancialAlert he describes the global finance crisis in term of the Christchurch earthquake.  I thought this was a very appropriate description and include it here.

    “The GFC was akin to a series of Christchurch earthquakes and aftershocks unpredictably hitting the global financial markets, and the NZ financial markets, financial services industry and financial adviser industry. Just like the Christchurch earthquakes, no one was really prepared for the GFC (no matter what they may now say), no one expected it, no one wanted it, no one liked it and many were seriously hurt by it. And, just like the Christchurch earthquakes, no one party was to blame for all the loss.”

  4. The IFA have put together a guide to help answer questions relating to advice on financial matters for those affected by the Canterbury earthquake.  The guide answers questions such as:

    • What you may need advice or help with
    • Making a claim under a house or contents policy
    • Making a claim under a life insurance or income protection policy
    • Managing your budget and cashflow
    • What to do with any investments you have
    • What options you have for reducing your commitments to KiwiSaver or insurance premiums

    You can view the IFA guide here and not only that, by presenting a copy of the flyer you will be elligible for three hours worth of free advice.  This offer is only available from approved advisers who are participating in the scheme.  

    If you would like to arrange an appointment please contact me and take advantage of this offer!

  5. Having two major catastrophes in Christchurch has meant that the home based insurance company AMI has been found short on its own insurance strategies.  Last year no one would have thought that Christchurch would have even had one earthquake never mind two and over 6000 aftershocks!

    It just goes to show that although we don't like insurance -- it is a must.  It is there to protect against the unexpected and this was unexpected...so what of AMI?  Did they cater for the unexpected?  AMI covers 30% of the Christchurch insurance market and that's a large portion of any business' portfolio in one section.

  6. My first post has absolutely nothing to do with finance. I just need to relay my day of terror.

    On the 22 February 2011 Christchurch experienced the most devastating earthquake for eighty years. This is despite the fact that until 4 September 2010 Christchurch wasn't even aware there was a fault running through the city. This quake was smaller than the 7.1 in September but so much more catastrophic. The 6.3 quake was shallow (at least half as deep as the big one) and also so close to the city. It affected a wider area than the previous quake and many who had little or no damage in September found a different story this time round.

    It's the loss of life that is so very sad. Yes, we have lost many beautiful buildings and Cantabrians will grieve for that aspect for many years. But that cannot be compared to the lives lost and the injuries suffered. Lives will be different from now on.

    I had been on the phone so was eating a late lunch otherwise I would have been under the bookcase in the office! I was in the kitchen making a cup of tea to take back to the office when it struck. Jamie, our miniature dachshund had just darted through to the lounge at a great rate...I expect he sensed something. But my first thought was that he was under the bookcase now blocking the kitchen and lounge area. Fortunately he was safe shivering in the lounge when I managed to get to him by accessing through the bedroom door and then into the lounge.

    I really didn't want to go back inside with all the personal items, broken glass and drawers flung open as every time I stepped inside there was another aftershock. Armed with my mobile I tried desperately to call Kevin and other people in Christchurch but was unable to get through. Messages came through three days later that Kevin had been trying to leave for me. I phoned my poor brother and sister-in-law in South Africa oblivious to any time difference...it was 2.00am in the morning! Heaven knows if they got back to sleep after me screeching down the phone as another aftershock rocked through.

    Encouraged by my sister-in-law Sue I ventured out of the garden to find someone else on their own or any other company. The builder that was doing work on a nearly-completed home a couple of doors down checked that Trish and I were safe before rushing off to see his elderly mother. The house he was working on apparently is a gonner.

    Trish lives in a house a few doors away and she was on her own. We spent the rest of the day trying to get hold of people and looking after the dogs that had got through broken gates etc. At one stage we had five dogs in tow. We knocked on doors to make sure no one was trapped. Trish wouldn't go into her house for her cigarette papers as she rolls her own so ended up using ordinary paper! Desperate times call for desperate measures!

    We had no power or water for three days but are okay now. Power is sporadic and water pressure goes up and down but there are still people without one or the other or even both so we are very lucky. Our home is safe and secure and we are safe also. We have some lovely neigbours and we all know each other much better than we did before. Must go now, Jamie wants a walk...talk soon.


As an Authorised Financial Adviser in Christchurch Lyn Bell has passed the requirements of the Financial Markets Authority and is legally qualified to provide financial services to her clients throughout New Zealand.  

Lyn’s registration can be viewed at www.fspr.govt.nz. Lyn can also be found at the Financial Markets Authority website.

A disclosure statement is available free on request



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While every care has been taken to supply accurate information, errors and omissions may occur. Accordingly, Lyn Bell & Associates accepts no responsibility for any loss caused as a result of any person relying on the information supplied.