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Our role

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) is a Crown entity, established under the Earthquake Commission Act 1993

Our core functions

The EQC’s statutory functions are set out in section 5 of the Act.

1. We provide natural disaster insurance for residential property (contents, dwellings and some coverage of land). 
Learn more about EQCover

2. We administer the Natural Disaster Fund (NDF), including its investments and reinsurance.
Read more about the NDF

3. We fund research and education on natural disasters and ways of reducing their impact. 
Find out more about our research and education programmes.

These three core functions are essential for New Zealand to effectively manage natural disaster risk.

Our objectives

EQC's three high-level objectives are:

1. Efficient management and settlement of claims

New Zealanders rely on EQC to provide efficient claims management in the aftermath of a disaster. This objective for EQC is to deliver levels of service acceptable to claimants and their representatives in local and central government. This involves timeliness and accuracy in lodging, assessing, quantifying loss, settling and resolving claims.

2. Efficient pricing and financing of risk

Under the Act, EQC is required to administer the Natural Disaster Fund, protecting its value; and to administer the insurance against natural disaster that is provided by the Act.

In the medium term, the EQC’s goals are to:

  • develop and maintain sufficient capacity (fund assets and reinsurance) to meet the obligations of EQC that arise from a natural disaster; and
  • manage the insurance scheme efficiently.

EQC’s contribution includes policy advice to the Government, when called upon, on how best to manage the Crown’s liability for natural disaster insurance and improve the efficiency of the insurance scheme.

3. Improving the current state of knowledge about New Zealand’s natural hazards

Improving the depth and breadth of knowledge of natural hazard risk is successful if it results in the adoption of risk reduction behaviour and enables reinsurers to more effectively price the New Zealand risk. It includes both the application of EQC-funded research to public policy, thereby informing building standards and zoning requirements, and the raising of public awareness leading to tangible changes in behaviour in the home.

You can read more about our strategic objectives, outputs and outcomes in our Statement of Intent.

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