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Your insurance

A house is often a homeowner’s most valuable asset, so it’s important to protect your home and its contents against loss or damage caused by natural disasters.

The Earthquake Commission Act automatically gives some cover if you have private insurance (that includes fire insurance) when the natural disaster happens. This is called EQCover.

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Know how much of your home and land we cover, and what to do if you need to claim.

More on EQCover

EQCover covers loss or damage to your home or land caused by disasters such as earthquakes, landslips, volcanic eruptions, hydrothermal activity and tsunami. We also cover damage caused by fire as a result of any of those disasters, and some land damage as a result of storms and floods.

From 1 July 2019 changes to EQCover came into effect. These changes saw EQCover for damage to residential buildings increase from $100,000 (+GST) to $150,000 (+ GST). EQCover for damage to contents was removed, with this being covered by private insurance policies. Visit Act Changes for more information on the changes.

What you’re covered for explains how EQCover works for damage to your home and land.

How much does EQCover cost?

EQCover costs 20 cents for every $100, up to a maximum annual cost of $345 including GST. You pay this levy as part of your insurance premiums to your private insurer, and your private insurer passes the levy onto EQC.

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Check your private insurance

Insurance is about peace of mind but don’t just buy it and put it out of mind.

More on private insurance

Know what cover you have

  • Make sure you understand your EQCover. 
  • Find out what your private insurance policy covers, as well as what it doesn’t cover (these are known as exclusions).
  • Check that you will have enough private insurance cover to rebuild your home and replace your valuables after a natural disaster.
  • Review your private insurance cover regularly to make sure it keeps pace with any change in the value of your home or contents or any change in the costs to repair or rebuild your home.

Can you find your insurance documents easily?

Your insurance documents include the policy wording as well as your policy schedule. If a disaster strikes you’ll want to be able to get to these documents quickly and easily. Store physical and digital copies somewhere safe (digital copies might be saved to your computer, a memory stick, a ‘cloud’ storage service or all three locations.


How much would a rebuild cost?

Calculating the cost of rebuilding your home can be complicated. The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) recommends people use the Cordell calculator. You could also pay for a registered quantity surveyor, builder and/or architect to provide an estimate.

Are you covered?

  • Do you have private house and contents insurance – including fire insurance?
  • Will your policy cover the full cost of a rebuild, and replacement of your contents? 
  • Have you put a copy of your insurance documents somewhere else, including in the cloud?