Land claims

Damage to land under and around a deck at a Canterbury property.


The series of earthquakes Canterbury experienced, starting in September 2010, caused several types of land damage.

Some types of damage are easily seen by looking at the land, such as cracking and undulation. These types of damage are known as visible land damage.

Other types of land damage are more complex and cannot easily be seen. These types of damage are Increased Flooding Vulnerability (IFV) and Increased Liquefaction Vulnerability (ILV). It is the first time anywhere in the world that these types of land damage have been recognised as insured damage.

Some land claims are more complex because they involve retaining walls, bridges and culverts, or because the ownership of the land is shared (e.g. under cross-leases).

Timeframes for land claim settlement

The expected timeframes for land claim settlements for various types of land damage are set out below. EQC’s scorecard has information on EQC’s progress with land claim settlements.

You can view a presentation by EQC’s Head of Canterbury Land, Keith Land, giving an update on land settlements here. The presentation was recorded at a seminar in October 2015.

Visible land damage only

EQC has settled most land claims that only have visible land damage and expects to settle the remaining claims by the end of 2015.

Properties with visible land damage and other types of land damage

Where properties have Increased Flooding Vulnerability damage and/or Increased Liquefaction Vulnerability, and also have visible land damage (such as cracking or undulation), the visible land damage will be settled at the same time as settlement of the Increased Flooding Vulnerability damage (and/or Increased Liquefaction Vulnerability, as the case may be).

Increased Flooding Vulnerability (IFV) and Increased Liquefaction Vulnerability (ILV) land damage

In December 2014, the High Court delivered a Declaratory Judgment that confirmed (among other things) that EQC could recognise Increased Flooding Vulnerability and Increased Liquefaction Vulnerability as forms of land damage. 

EQC has begun settling claims which include Increased Flooding Vulnerability land damage and expects to have most of these settlements completed by early 2016.

The settlement of land claims which include Increased Liquefaction Vulnerability land damage will be done in two stages. By early  2016 customers will first be informed by EQC whether or not their property qualifies for Increased Liquefaction Vulnerability land damage. Once a settlement decision has been made for properties that qualify, customers will then receive a full settlement pack, with detailed information on the amount of payment and what it is based on. We currently expect that we will be sending out settlement packs for ILV land damage and for any other outstanding land damage throughout 2016.

Port Hills land damage

Almost all settlements of claims for land damage in the Port Hills are completed. 

How to request a review of your land settlement

Customers who receive their land settlement pack can ask EQC to review its decisions on whether the insured land has damage and/or the settlement amount paid. For more information visit the How to request a review of your land settlement section.

EQCover for land

If your house is insured, EQC generally also insures a defined area of your residential land. In the ‘What we do’ section of this website you can find out what land is and isn’t covered.

Other issues

Shared land – this refers to land claims where the ownership of the land needs to be established before a settlement can be made, e.g. under a cross-lease. This can cause delays in settling the land claim. You can find out more on the Shared land page.

Potentially contaminated land - some landowners were contacted by Environment Canterbury to advise them that their soil may have been contaminated by previous industrial use. In some situations EQC will fund certain costs associated with a land repair of the earthquake damage. You can get information from the Potentially contaminated land page and the ECAN website.

Technical categories – the assessment of your land damage claim by EQC is a process separate from the decision that was made on the technical category of your property, e.g. TC1, TC2, TC3. These technical categories were established by the Department of Building and Housing (now part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment). You can get more information about the technical categories and what they mean from the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority website.


Page last updated: 28 Oct 2015

Translated material: