Christchurch: CBD – (03) 379 7690 | Ferrymead – (03) 940 2435 | Hornby – (03) 349 5111

Insurance Law

The interpretation of insurance policies and contracts can be a complex process. Here at Saunders & Co, our team has acted for both insurers and the insured in claims against policies. They have the skills and knowledge to advise you of your entitlements.

The Canterbury Earthquakes have raised several issues in the insurance law practice. Our team has been involved in multiple insurance claims arising from the Canterbury Earthquakes advising on policy coverage and negotiating settlements for our clients.

Outside of Earthquake related matters, we advise on what coverage is appropriate for a range of individuals and businesses.

Our insurance and earthquake related services include advising on:

  • Professional liability
  • Public liability
  • Home, contents, and car insurance
  • Statutory liability
  • Business interruption insurance
  • Litigation and dispute resolution

Examples of our recent work

  • New Zealand Fire Service V Legg [2016] NZHC 1492
  • High Court Christchurch – successful claim against two insurers who rejected liability following a Christchurch fire. Please note, the decision was subject to appeal by one insurer.
  • Canterbury couple avoid $200,000 bill for fire
  • Representing clients in proceedings against the insurers after the declining of a claim under a public liability policy.
  • Negotiating the settlement of multiple earthquake related insurance and EQC claims.
  • Successfully acting for a client during an internal review after the declining of a claim against a car insurance policy.

Get further advice from

Nicola Coombes

Partner

Phone: +64 3 940 2435
E-mail: nicola.coombes@saunders.co.nz
Assistant: Stephanie Davison
Office: Ferrymead

I joined Saunders & Co in 2012 soon after my arrival from the UK and became a partner in 2017. I enjoy leading the Ferrymead office with its broad, general practice and family-focused culture. Clients benefit from the smaller office environment and although most matters are handled within the Ferrymead office, additional expertise from the firm’s corporate office can be accessed if required.

Property and commercial matters make up a large part of my portfolio, which could include anything from the sale and purchase of homes, commercial buildings and businesses, to leasing, and refinancing. I also assist clients with personal asset planning, trusts, wills and estates, and continue to handle a smaller amount of insurance and earthquake-related work.

I am genuine in my approach and aim to provide prompt efficient service and pragmatic advice, focused on clearly explaining every step of the process.

Building strong links to local communities in the east of the city and the seaside suburbs is important to me, with the Ferrymead office assisting a number of community groups and trusts.

I specialise in the following areas:

What My Clients Say

“I am writing to acknowledge the superior service we were afforded by Nicola and her team at Saunders & Co Ferrymead. Having worked with and against a number of lawyers in my career, it was a delight to finally find a team who knew their business, executed it with diligence and aplomb while never losing their sense of humor or the human touch. We were singularly impressed with Nicola’s knowledge, experience and compassion. Never once did we suffer condescension, were we treated as numpties or made to feel we were wasting a professional’s time. Nothing was too much trouble and our angst and anxiety were met with concern and genuine understanding. This is an associate, backed by a team, in which Saunders & Co can have confidence and pride..”
Robert Nimmo Christchurch

Tania Hutchinson

Senior Associate

Direct dial: +64 3 966 7706
Mobile: 022 628 1302
E-mail: tania.hutchinson@saunders.co.nz
Office: CBD

I was admitted to the bar in early 2010 and joined the Civil Team at Saunders & Co as a Senior Associate in April 2017.  As a litigation specialist my focus  is on construction and insurance law, civil matters, debt recovery, and the resolution of general commercial disputes.

Providing comprehensive advice to clients in the construction industry around their obligations under building and construction law and legislation is my specialist focus.  I regularly assist clients with matters such as contractual breaches, defective building work and materials claims, as well as pursuing claims under the Construction Contracts Act 2002 and other legislation.

I am also highly experienced when it comes to providing advocacy, negotiation, and settlement of disputed residential and commercial insurance claims in Christchurch’s post-earthquake environment.

My clients appreciate my practical approach and ability to give frank, straightforward guidance. As well as helping clients to work through disputes, I like to provide them with a working knowledge of the tools available to help avoid similar disputes in the future.

I am a member of the Society of Construction Law New Zealand Inc., Canterbury Women’s Legal Association (CWLA), and the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC).

I specialise in the following areas:

What My Clients Say

“Thank you Tania for all your support on my claims this year. You have been so lovely to deal with. I really appreciate that you always returned my phone calls promptly, you thoroughly explained everything to me as we worked through the processes and of course achieved a great outcome. Your integrity and professionalism are greatly appreciated.”
Rebecca Fraher

 

“I have been working with Tania Hutchinson since May 2017. Tania has been assisting myself and the owners of a 12 unit mixed-use unit title property to resolve their earthquake insurance claim. Tania has been tremendously helpful in guiding us to reach a long awaited satisfactory settlement and ensured that the owners received their full entitlements under the policy that was applicable. She is continuing to assist the owners by providing advice in regards to the path forward post settlement as there are a number of options now available to the owners.

I have been fortunate to be able to introduce Tania to another of my clients recently. Tania is working with this residential body corporate with the aim to get their claim settled as soon as possible and give the owners the opportunity to move forward.

Tania is pragmatic, knowledgeable, professional and a pleasure to work with. I would be more than happy to recommend her and to work with her again.”
Stephanie Byrne

 

“We first met Tania in early 2017 regarding a payment dispute we were having with another contractor. Tania was nothing less than amazing giving us understandable advice and providing resolutions for our situation. She quickly got to the bottom of our case and spent about 3 to 4 months helping achieve the best outcome. As a young business owner I could not have asked for anything more from Tania as she took our concerns on board and gave us every reassurance that we were doing the right thing. I would most definitely seek help from Tania again if any issues arise in the future.”
Harley and Renee Haywood, Utilities Infrastructure NZ Ltd

Locations:

CBD: 131 Victoria Street, Christchurch, NZ

Ferrymead: Unit 2, 987 Ferry Road, Christchurch, NZ

Hornby: 5 Goulding Avenue, Christchurch, NZ

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