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The Three Lessons from the Canterbury Earthquakes Click on image to view full size

The Three Lessons from the Canterbury Earthquakes

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Ten insurance lessons for next time …


The lessons learned after the initial September 2010 earthquakes had barely begun to sink in before they were indelibly underlined by February’s deadly shake and a never ending stream of major, minor and all but constant aftershocks. 

In one sense these events have been about the totally unexpected behaviour of nature; but in another they have been about the personal, social, communal and economic aftershocks where damage runs so much deeper.

For those of us in the insurance industry the timeless ‘model’ on which so much was predicated has been found wanting; for those of us in the professions whose clients depend on the acuity and effectiveness of our advice the scale has been unimagined.

As every commentator from the best qualified geophysicist to the Prime Minister himself has observed – who could have expected it?

People are fond of saying, “Hindsight is a wonderful thing” and on this occasion it has been gained at incredible cost to homeowners and business operators.

We owe it to those who have suffered to ensure that these lessons which have been so expensively learned are not forgotten.


Because the survival of businesses is axiomatic to communal recovery Crombie Lockwood has created ‘Ten Lessons’ that they use to help ensure their clients throughout New Zealand are not totally unprepared the next time it happens:


[1]       Disaster Recovery Plan


Do you have one? See here Where do you keep your DRP? Who has access? Who has custody?


[2]       DRP for your clients


If you’re in a business providing advice and at the risk of stating the obvious, you should also guide your clients in the necessity of having a sound DRP. Massey University’s recent study on the need has been covered in other media.


[3]       Adequacy of Insurance


Talk face to face with your insurance advisor; listen when they talk about extensions like ‘prevention of access’; increased indemnity periods; business interruption cover. These are the things that make the difference between survival and failure, over and over again.  

The term ‘false economy’ has seldom been better applied.

...For the rest of the lessons or an appointment to proceed please contact Ricky Mark