You are here

Drainage claims

If you want to make a new claim for drainage damage from the 2010 – 2011 Canterbury earthquakes, you need to commission a certified drainlayer (registered with the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board) to inspect your drains (effective from 1 January 2017).

The drainlayer needs to provide a report and recommended repair strategy for any earthquake damage. They need to follow EQC’s instructions and use EQC’s forms in undertaking any assessment or preparing any report on earthquake damage:

While you will need to pay for the drainage inspection yourself, that cost will be reimbursed by EQC if any earthquake damage is confirmed, in accordance with the Earthquake Commission Act 1993.

EQC was advised that drainage damage relating to the 2010 – 2011 Canterbury earthquake sequence may take five to seven years to manifest due to asymptomatic damage. During the five years since December 2011, EQC has usually determined that any drainage damaged was earthquake damage.
From 1 January 2017, only two forms of damage are likely to be considered as earthquake damage: blockages from liquefaction and vertical displacement of pipes.

EQC will continue to settle drainage claims in accordance with the EQC Act by cash payment informed by drainlayers’ recommended repair strategies and estimated repair costings. 

Customers can have confidence that if further damage is discovered after a cash payment has been made, and EQC determines the damage identified was caused by an earthquake or needs to be reinstated as part of the earthquake repairs in accordance with the EQC Act; an additional payment to cover additional costs may be made.

The new arrangement only applies to new drainage damage claims lodged from 1 January 2017.

Read our FAQs

Understanding your settlement pack

EQC will provide a range of information for you once your drainage claim has been reviewed and a settlement outcome determined. 

The drainage sample settlement pack consists of:

If you discover further damage during the repair of your drains

If further damage is discovered during the repair process you can contact EQC by:

  • calling 0800 DAMAGE (0800 326 243) between 8:00am and 4:30pm, Monday to Friday, or
  • emailing

If we agree the damage is earthquake-related, an additional payment may be available to cover additional costs in accordance with the Earthquake Commission Act 1993.

Drainage Variation Request Form

Please have your registered drainlayer complete this form and return it to the EQC Drainage Team.

Page last updated: