Flood-affected homeowners encouraged to contact EQC
Homeowners whose properties have suffered damage from the storms and resulting flooding hitting the country in recent days should contact the Earthquake Commission for advice on lodging a claim.
Deputy Chief Executive Readiness and Recovery, Renée Walker, says EQC encourages people to lodge a claim within three months, but claims can be lodged up to two years from the time that a storm, flood or landslip damage occurs.
“Our message to people in the affected areas is to put their well-being first. There is plenty of time to lodge a claim with us. Right now, as roads are still closed and communities are isolated the priority for is for people to look after themselves, their families, and friends and take stock of what’s happened to their properties.”
Ms Walker says that 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.
“We have seen a number of storms hit different parts of the country in recent times and unfortunately some regions have had such bad weather more than once,” says Ms Walker.
“Our teams work closely to provide information and support to residents, community organisations and councils as part of their recovery. Anyone whose land has been damaged should lodge a claim for each event and we can help them through the claim lodgement process.
“Each claim is assessed, and depending on the type and extent of damage, may involve a geotechnical engineer, valuer or other expert.
“The more information a customer can provide during the claim process, the more we can understand their requirements and whether their damage is covered under the EQC Act. Even if you don’t have all the information you might eventually need to provide, you should still lodge a claim and we can start the process,” says Ms Walker.
EQC’s approach is to cash settle claims for land damage and it is the homeowner’s responsibility to arrange for the necessary work to clear or repair their land.
“If you need to make any urgent repairs, keep records and receipts of any costs incurred, such as for clearing debris caused by a landslip or flood. We can consider reimbursement as part of a claim. Our advice is talk to us before you make any urgent repairs that mean you need to incur a cost. Either way take lots of photos to help us understand the damage to your home,” says Ms Walker.
The area that EQC covers is limited to land that is within your land holding – and includes:
land underneath 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 and located entirely within your land holding
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 artificial surfaces).
Residents can lodge claims with EQC online at www.eqc.govt.nz/claims, via email on email@example.com; or by calling 0800 DAMAGE (326 243). The EQC call centre is open 7am to 9pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to 6pm on Saturdays. Having your insurance policy at hand helps when you contact us.