New process for settling Kaikoura quake claims

  • Gerry Brownlee
Earthquake Commission Civil Defence

The Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission (EQC) Gerry Brownlee has welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between EQC and private insurers.

EQC and New Zealand’s major private insurers have reached an agreement which will help ensure thousands of claims following the November 14 earthquake are resolved efficiently and in a timely manner.

Mr Brownlee, who is also Acting Civil Defence Minister, says both EQC and insurers have learned a great deal about handling large volumes of often complex earthquake claims after the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.

“Under the agreement, private insurers will act as EQC’s agents and receive, assess and settle home and contents claims for earthquake damage from their own customers, even those claims that are under the EQC $100,000 cap,” Mr Brownlee says.

“The intention of this agreement is to reduce the double handling of claims and to speed up settlements for earthquake-affected customers.

“It’s a simplified approach that works in the best interests of customers and I’m pleased that EQC and private insurers have been able to work through the details of this agreement following the November 14 earthquake.

“I want to assure all New Zealanders that this new approach does not change customers’ entitlements under their insurance policies or under the EQC Act.

“Insurance assessors will be trained in the specific requirements of the Act and under the agreement, EQC will have the responsibility for monitoring, assessing and reporting on the new process.

“Private insurers will assess contents and building claims while EQC will assess land claims.

“Those who have already lodged a claim with EQC are not required to do anything and customers will still be able to request a review where they disagree with a proposed settlement.

“This new and simplified approach recognises we listened to some of the issues raised by customers in the wake of the Canterbury earthquake sequence,” Mr Brownlee says.