This afternoon’s announcement on assistance for property owners in parts of Christchurch will apply to those who had insurance.
NZPA understands the offer that is going to be put on the table is for insured houses in the worst-affected suburbs and the payout will be at the government valuation for the houses immediately before the first earthquake in September.
The Government will pay the money upfront and then get most of it back from insurance companies and the Earthquake Commission.
What about the uninsured?
They might be eligible for welfare but they cannot receive compensation without undermining the insurance industry.
They took the risk of remaining uninsured and they will have to pay the price.
That might seem tough, but a conversation I overheard between two supermarket workers explains why that is the way it must be:
“I’ve paid premiums for 20 years and never had to claim. Why would you bother if you knew that those who paid nothing would get something?” one said.
“Well you wouldn’t would you?” the other replied.