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EQC update on Edgecumbe response

The Earthquake Commission is continuing to work closely with Edgecumbe residents to resolve their claims following the April 2017 flood event.

Event response spokesperson, Paul Walsh, says that under the direction from Government, the settlement of most claims has been clearing silt and debris from underneath and around people's properties.

"Our response to the Edgecumbe flood required a different approach than EQC would typically take following such an event. This response is around clean-up of properties, and EQC is managing the clean-up with five contracting companies, so therefore no payment is required for the majority of Edgecumbe customers," says Mr Walsh.

"A small number of properties were significantly damaged in the flood, including houses that have been red stickered by the local council. (Local councils have legal authority to issue buildings with a Dangerous Building Notice or a ‘red sticker’ having assessed the safety risks for occupants or property.)

Engineering assessments are being carried out on these properties to determine the extent of the damage so EQC can provide the customer with their full entitlement under the EQC Act.

"EQC has received 271 claims for Edgecumbe and work has been completed on 175 of these to date."

Mr Walsh says that EQC continues to have staff in Edgecumbe and has been in contact with all property owners including those whose houses have been red stickered.

"EQC has made a strong effort to contact residents, local authorities, and other stakeholders and to provide information updates on how the clean-up is progressing. The overall feedback from residents has been really positive about the work EQC is doing."

EQC has established a team to specifically manage its response to the Edgecumbe flood and there are up to 20 staff members working on this project at any time. The team includes three claims handlers dedicated to work on the remaining claims. There is no set number of claims for each handler, as they are working as a team, and have been working in the community since April.

"The Edgecumbe floods were part of more than 1,000 claims EQC received following the storm event less than four months ago. Our work to resolve all claims is continuing as quickly as possible, and even if clean-up work is continuing on a section, customers can still contact their private insurer about settling their building or contents claim," says Mr Walsh.

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