Post Blog: Christchurch Earthquake - A Loss Adjuster’s Diary

Wheelie bins in Christchurch

Having flown in to assess the latest recovery efforts from the series of devastating earthquakes and aftershocks that have afflicted New Zealand's south island city, Benedict Burke comes face to face with a rather different type of loss.

I arrived in Christchurch early this morning (local time) and have just completed my first update briefing with the Crawford Global Technical Services team in New Zealand.

Our presence here has been part of a Crawford catastrophe consulting programme to work with reinsurers.

However, the hot news here is not that the All Blacks lost to England on Saturday but that masses of wheelie bins are going missing - it reminds me of home in north London!

Thousands of people have disappeared from Christchurch's earthquake-smashed eastern suburbs. But so it seems have their wheelie bins.

A city council staff report reveals that around 9200 wheelie bins are currently unaccounted for at a value of more than NZ$1m (£500 000).

Wheelie bin mysteries aside, Crawford has a team of about 15 international adjusters working with our partners in NZ, taking direct responsibility for some of the most complex claims.

Their task remains massive and, later today, I will be travelling into the city centre - it's actually called the 'Red Zone' but I didn't want anyone to get the wrong idea about how I am spending my time - to view the many heritage buildings we are adjusting.

Got to keep on rolling, so I'm off now to chase the wheelie bin instruction! Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Benedict Burke, senior vice president, global markets, Crawford & Company

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