Insurers pushing gag orders on settlements

A number of Christchurch insurance claimants are being asked to give up their freedom of speech on insurance settlements. Photo / Geoff Sloan
A number of Christchurch insurance claimants are being asked to give up their freedom of speech on insurance settlements. Photo / Geoff Sloan

A Christchurch insurance advocate says gag orders on insurance settlements benefit no one, but the insurer's reputation.

A number of customers have told Newstalk ZB their insurer has refused to settle unless they stop posting negative comments on social media.

Insurance expert Sarah Miles says when the time comes to look back at Christchurch's insurance experience, the people who have been through the most won't be able to talk about it.

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She says it doesn't promote an open culture between the two parties.

"It's unfair that claimants are having to choose between settling longstanding insurance disputes and their freedom of speech."

Claimants deserve to be compensated, if they're being asked to give up their freedom of speech, she said.

They include Pip Corry, the former leader of a class action against IAG who was asked to stop making negative comments on social media.

Her settlement is still in negotiations.

In most cases the insurer refused to pay anything extra for such a request, but Lane Neave Partner Duncan Webb says they could be entitled to ask for more.

He says the insurer is asking them to give up a basic human right.

A spokesman for IAG said it did not want to comment on the issue.

- Newstalk ZB

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