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Listing all posts with label Financial Stress. 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.


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.