Engineer’s Certificates Unaffordable

Oct. 3, 2017, 6:29 a.m.

Housing Authority of Fiji

A considerable number of the Housing Authority of Fiji’s low income target market cannot afford to upgrade their Engineering certification.

This was highlighted by acting CEO, Isikeli Navuda, at a recent stakeholder’s seminar on policies, regulations and consumer concerns related to property insurance in Fiji.

New India Insurance is the only insurer that provided the Housing Authority full cover for all mortgaged properties, including properties with valid engineer’s certificates.

“A substantial proportion of our low income target market are not able to afford engineering upgrading certification after every seven years, thus potentially disqualifying them from the cyclone cover,” he noted.

Challenges highlighted included customer oversight of important information regarding insurance covers to their properties, when signing their letters and mortgage documents.

“Customers have difficulty understanding what policy excess is and why they have to pay the excess when they are paying insurance premiums.”

Also noted was a lack of appreciation for the due process required when processing claims.

“For example, in the event of a fire, the loss assessor, structural engineers and quantity surveyors are engaged for a comprehensive assessment which takes six to eight weeks.

“No other reputable insurance company, apart from New India Insurance, is willing to underwrite the full Group House Insurance Cover for the Housing Authority; for a known fact is that not all of the HA’s properties are with valid cyclone certificates.”

A total of 79 customers were assisted via the Group House Insurance Policy, after Tropical Cyclone Winston in February.