Frequently asked questions about determination
Who attends a GCCRS determination?
How long does the process take?
Do I have to take part in a determination?
Is attending a determination like going to court?
Do I need representation?
What should I do before a determination?
Do I need to have had facilitation prior to determination?
What happens if I change my mind?
What happens if this agreement is not kept?
Can the decision be appealed?
What happens if the decision maker needs more information?
Who pays for the decision maker?
Do I need advice on the determination contract?
The people attending determinations are those who want to resolve the disputed claim and a decision-maker. This usually means the policy holder, the insurer, lawyers, and the decision-maker. Lawyers, representatives and support people may also attend.
The GCCRS schedules dates and times for the determination as soon as all the parties and a decision-maker are available. The determination will usually take a day, but some can be longer or shorter.
No, it is totally voluntary and your decision. Entering the process must be agreed by all parties.
A determination is run similarly to the court process, but takes place in a less formal setting and gives parties a much greater degree of flexibility than litigation. For example, on procedural matters such as when the adjudication will take place (often resulting in a speedier outcome) or on the type of documents exchanged (the decision-maker may request evidence that may not be admissible in Court). The decision-maker may also choose to ask questions of parties or their experts in order to make their decision. The process will be more inquisitorial than adversarial. Parties will sign an agreement which ensures that the process is entirely confidential, and agree that the decision will be binding and final (this means it cannot be appealed).
No. People can represent themselves at determination; however lawyers can be very helpful in assisting parties to present their case – particularly in gathering the facts, and setting out the law. Be aware that you will have to pay for your own experts for the determination. GCCRS strongly recommends legal support throughout the process.
Make sure you have all the important papers with you (e.g. insurance policy, engineering reports, letters and emails). Think about how to describe the problem and what you want to say. Writing it down will help you to remember everything. GCCRS provides access to legal advice at no cost; you may like to discuss your case with a lawyer prior to your determination.
Not necessarily. You should talk to your case manager about the most suitable pathway for your case. This will also be discussed during the triage process.
Once you have signed the Dispute Resolution Agreement contract and entered into the determination process neither you nor the other parties can leave the determination process once the process is underway. It is critical that you understand the process you are entering into and GCCRS will insist you provide evidence you have received legal advice on the contract and the process. In certain special circumstances this may be changed based on either both parties agreeing or the decision-maker deciding that special circumstances exist.
The agreement will be enforceable through the courts. If for example a payment is not made then you will be able to apply to the court to have the decision enforced.
No, the contract is clear that all parties are bound by the outcome and cannot appeal it. This is the advantage of the process, it is final and binding.
If after reviewing the reports the decision-maker decides that they need some clarification on an engineering or other technical issue, or would like some engineering technical support then they can request that information directly from Engineering New Zealand (ENZ). ENZ will engage an independent engineer to assess the issue and provide whatever feedback the decision maker needs. The costs of this extra engineering advice will be paid for by GCCRS.
GCCRS will pay for the costs of the decision maker and the costs of running the meeting including location costs. GCCRS may look to recover these costs from the Insurer or EQC. Remember you will need to pay for your own experts’ time to attend the meeting, and the costs of your lawyer.
Before entering the determination you will need to agree to the Dispute Resolution Agreement Contract. GCCRS will require evidence that you have received legal advice on this contract before signing it. We can provide free access to this legal advice if needed.