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EQC advice ahead of Cyclone Oma

As Cyclone Oma heads towards New Zealand, the Earthquake Commission is prepared to assist homeowners with lodging an EQC claim if the impact is as severe as some are forecasting.

Deputy Chief Executive Operations, Paul Jepson, says whilst it remains unclear exactly which parts of the country could be affected by the cyclone, homeowners should contact EQC and lodge a claim if their property suffers damage.

“Last year a number of storm events, including ex-cyclones Fehi and Gita, caused flooding and landslip damage across different parts of the country, and it is possible that Oma could do the same if it makes landfall here.”

Mr Jepson says that the safety and welfare of family, friends and neighbours comes first in every natural hazard event.

“Our advice is keep a check on the weather forecasts and making sure that your home is secured and weather tight to reduce the risk of damage occurring.”

“It is important that New Zealanders are prepared, if however if any homeowners suffer damage to their property they should contact EQC as soon as possible.  We can then work with you to better understand the situation and how we can help.”

Background Information

EQC covers storm and flood damage to residential land only, with home and contents damage covered by private insurance according to the terms of an individual’s policy. 

EQC coverage of land is limited to land that is within your land holding – and includes:

  • land under your home and outbuildings (e.g., shed or garage)
  • land within eight metres of your home and outbuildings
  • Land under or supporting your main access way, up to 60 metres from your home (not driveway surfacing).

EQC land cover includes:

  • bridges and culverts within the above areas
  • some retaining walls that are necessary to support or protect your home, outbuildings or insured land
  • The removal of debris, such as silt or fallen trees, from the insured land (not replacement of items on the land, such as trees, plants, lawn and driveways).

The timeframe for lodging a claim has been extended for up to two years under the recent changes to the Earthquake Commission Act.

EQC has more specific and detailed information on what it covers on its website -

Claims can be lodged online at, via email on, or by calling 0800 DAMAGE (0800 326 243). The EQC call centre is open 7am to 9pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 6pm on Saturdays.

EQC Media: David Miller, 029 978 6430,

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