Some Christchurch diocesan property may not have earthquake insurance next year

The Christchurch Diocese has been providing insurance cover for property to the value of $260 million, and this year’s policy to November 30 cost $379,000.

The policy is with Ansvar and expires on November 30.

Christchurch diocesan financial administrator Paddy Beban says the diocese was shopping around to see what insurance company and what policy it would go with as of December 1.

“My gut feeling is there might be some (earthquake cover) available, but how affordable that is is something that one has to weigh up, and the signals are that it will be a significant amount of money,” Beban said.

Earthquake cover could prove expensive not only in terms of the premium, but the excesses could also be large.

“We will have cover in place for the first of December for risks excluding earthquakes, and if earthquake cover was deemed to be affordable we would consider taking it,” he said.

He expected premiums to increase regardless.

The Ashburton Guardian reports that the $6.5 million dollar Holy Name Church in Ashburton and its accompanying presbytery,  churches at Rakaia, Methven and Tinwald, and the district’s two Catholic schools of St Joseph’s in Ashburton and Our Lady of the Snows in Methven, are already without earthquake cover under the diocese’s current policy.

Earlier this year Beban said the lack of earthquake cover for the two schools meant the church was technically in breach of its integration agreement with the state, to maintain standards as a proprietor and have the buildings fully insured.


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