World first natural disaster response model for New Zealand

Earthquake Commission

A world first natural disaster insurance model which comes into effect on 30 June, is being welcomed by the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, David Clark.

The collaboration between eight private insurers, the Earthquake Commission (EQC) and the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ), means each New Zealander now has a single point of contact for natural disaster insurance claims.

“The partnership is a good example of Government and industry coming together in a co-ordinated way to deliver what is arguably one of the most responsive disaster response platforms in the world. It puts claimants at the centre of the insurance process,” David Clark said.

“The fault with the previous system was claims over the EQC cap were first assessed by EQC, then a private insurer. This resulted in delays, conflicting scopes of work and added stress for homeowners.

“The report of the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission made a number of recommendations for EQC and private insurers to facilitate a better insurance experience for people following a natural disaster. This model directly responds to 24 of the Inquiry’s 69 recommendations,” David Clark said.

Building on the model used after the Kaikōura earthquake in 2016, people will make just one claim to their private insurer for all aspects of their private and EQC cover. However, EQC retains its role co-ordinating the Government’s insurance response and recovery following a future natural disaster.

“EQC will continue to drive its world-class $22m research programme into natural hazards and engineering, which underpins EQC’s ability to secure $7 billion of reinsurance and provide ongoing affordable house insurance for New Zealand homeowners,” David Clark said.

“The Government’s response to the Public Inquiry is progressing well. I expect to introduce legislation to modernise the EQC Act at the end of this year, David Clark said.