June 2015 Newsletter – Meth Labs

Contents claim issues – proof of items?!Without a shadow of a doubt, the biggest irritation when dealing with Contents loss/theft is actually proving to your insurer that you owned the items. This can delay the settlement process and lead to angst and frustration – perhaps you’ve even experienced this?Whilst most policies don’t make this 100% mandatory, there is an obligation on your part (the policy holder) to fulfil your part of the insurance contract and provide evidence when asked.

Proof of ownership can be any of the following:

  • Purchase or repair receipts – preferred.
  • Bank statements showing purchase transaction
  • Photographs
  • Other parts of the item still in your possession (e.g. lap-top charger and carry bag, or the box that it came in)

This applies to both Domestic Contents policies and Business Assets policies.

Tip! Take photos of your possessions (e.g. jewellery/high valued items/wardrobe/garage etc) and save them to your cloud email account. Alternatively, you are free to email these to us and we’ll keep them on your file (you are protected by the Privacy Act 1993).

Modified vehicles

A gentle reminder to all you motoring enthusiasts that there is no guaranteed cover under your Motor vehicle policy if the vehicle has been modified, unless details of all modifications have been given to us and they have been agreed by your Insurer.

Common examples of modifications are:

  • Mag wheels
  • engine modifications
  • aftermarket exhaust systems; and
  • lowered or lifted suspension
  • Less common examples are gull-wing doors and flame paintjobs!

In most cases you Insurer will accept the modifications, but they could impose additional warranties – for example Twin locking nuts on Mag wheels.

Following the rule of its better to be safe than sorry, we encourage you to inform us of any vehicle modifications that you may have.

We’ve entered the inaugural Taupo Marathon!

Well, three of us have – Andy, Matt and Richard. Keen to finally establish Alpha-male dominance in the office, we’re putting up to shut-up. Of course entering is one thing, but finishing the event in a decent time is another. Come 1st August, we’ll finally see who gets the key to the executive wash room. Until then, it’s all war stories and mind games in the office!!

Methamphetamine in NZ

Did you know that over 70% of “meth” labs raided by Police are located in rental properties?

Methamphetamine  (meth) is an odourless drug, so it is difficult to tell whether it has been used, or manufactured, in a rental property. While the use of meth takes time to contaminate a property, the manufacture of it results in immediate contamination. Research has shown that a third of users will attempt to manufacture the drug themselves. Meth labs can be set up easily and used. This is why so many motels, hotels and holiday homes are used as bases for meth manufacture. Similarly they are easy to dismantle. So inside the 48 hr notice required for a landlord to enter a property, all the evidence can be cleared away. It is almost impossible to determine if your rental is being used for this purpose.

What happens when those tenants move out and new ones move in? The cost to health to those occupying a meth-affected building can range from headaches, coughing and watery eyes thru to shortness of breath and sleep disorders. Long terms exposure to a dwelling affected by meth can include cancer, birth defects and even death.

Rental property contamination example:

A 6yrs old brick and tile property in East Auckland was rented out and professionally managed. A Police raid alerted the recently appointed property manager to the issue. A baseline meth test identified massive levels of contamination. Detailed testing confirmed the property was beyond economic repair. The building had to be demolished, and ½ metre of topsoil removed from the section due to contamination. 

Meth contamination does not go away with a simple paint job; abet for many people who suspect they have a problem with meth contamination, this is how they handle it. The costs to rid a meth contaminated property are significant – even to the point of having to rebuild from scratch in some cases.

Does my house insurance policy cover meth lab damages?

Yes and no – there is inconstancy across the insurer spectrum. Some insurers don’t specifically exclude meth damage and for these each claim is treated on its own merit. At the very least you would have to provide evidence that you were meeting your tenancy agreement landlord obligations and making regular inspections of your rental property/tenants (essentially being a prudent policy holder).

Other insurers offer a limitation for chemical contamination per claim (e.g. $25,000 max) but increasing to the nominated sum insured for fire or explosions. The same landlord obligations apply.

Conversely a landlord who doesn’t undertake regular property inspections, and/or has a “hands-off” approach to their tenants, would potentially have an unfavourable outcome if they made such a claim.

Help reduce the risk:

  • Proactive management is essential
  • Before you purchase or move into a property, make sure you have the property meth tested.
  • Use an experienced provider who uses a laboratory-based test for the most effective testing, rather than a DIY kit.

Info provided by MethSolutions. For more information contact www.methsolutions.co.nz or call 0800METHLAB.

MethSoluitions have tested nearly 2,500 properties across NZ, and 2 out of every 5 properties tested have tested positive for meth residues.

(QBE, 2015)

Paintball champ triggers unique insurance policy

A paintball enthusiast from England has joined the ranks of strangest insurance policies thanks to a £100,000 cover for his trigger fingers.

Ronnie Hollington, runs Mayhem Paintball in Essex and added his left and right trigger fingers to his insurance policy in a bid to ensure that he can continue his paintball career.

“I added my trigger fingers to the insurance policy because without them my career would be over,” Hollington said.

“To me they’re the most essential body part so even the thought of losing them is frightening; without them I can’t do my job.”

In the event of an accident involving his fingers, Ronnie would receive damages of up to £100,000.

With this potential benefit, Hollington hopes that his wife, Clare, resists the temptation to cash in quick.

“£100,000 is a lot of money so I’m hoping Clare won’t chop my fingers off to pocket the dough!

I didn’t tell her about it at first and I’d definitely prefer to keep my fingers than be paid the money but knowing they’re insured makes me feel a bit more comfortable. The insurance doesn’t make my fingers safer but it’s nice to know I would receive a payout if I lost them”. (NZ Insurance Business)

MJIB Food Trivia!

  1. The Aztecs were the first people to drink chocolate?
    True or False
  2. What food is Houmous made from?
    Tofu, Rice, Chick peas or Corn
  3. Ugali is eaten in Kenya, it is a porridge made from millet flour or cornmeal?
    True of False
  4. Cinnamon comes from the outer bark of the tree?
    True or False
  5. What meat is Navarin Stew made from?
    Veal, Beef, Lamb or Chicken
  6. What is the most popular spice in the world?
    Pepper, Nutmeg, Curry or Cloves
  7. McDonald’s opens a new restaurant every ….?
    4 minutes, 4 hrs, 14 hrs or 4 days 
  8. The British came up with Ice tea?
    True or False
  9. Just 1% of the McDonald’s chicken in Great Britain comes from Great Britain?
    True or False
  10. People used to salt meat taken on ships so it would stay good longer?
    True or False

Answers 1-True, 2-Chick peas, 3-True, 4-False, 5-Lamb, 6-Pepper, 7-4 hrs, 8-False, 9-True, 10-True