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New approach to February 2016 quake claims

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) will be drawing on lessons learned in previous Canterbury earthquakes to assess and settle claims from the February 2016 earthquakes.

The plan is to speed up assessments, where possible, by calling customers to get all  the information we need to desktop assess and cash settle their claim, EQC General Manager Customer and Claims, Trish Keith says.

“We won’t necessarily be sending an assessor to the home, except where there is extensive damage, the claim is complex or a customer’s circumstances require it.

“EQC will cash settle most of the claims to enable customers to get onto repairs quickly. We’re doing this because we are hearing from customers that their damage is largely cosmetic building repairs and contents,” Mrs Keith says.

For those customers already in the Canterbury Home Repair and land programmes who lodge new claims from the February earthquakes, EQC will deal with their claims at the same time. In this way, EQC will not slow the existing work programmes down due to the new event.

EQC’s approach builds on the lessons we have learnt from Canterbury, Cook Strait, and Eketahuna earthquakes. It also reflects that EQC already has a lot of information about Canterbury customers.

“The new process is being piloted with a small group of customers before EQC starts rolling it out in earnest, and early feedback has been very positive.” Mrs Keith says. 

“We can use information we already know about our Christchurch customers to make settling the latest claims smoother and faster,” Mrs Keith says.  “Our goal is to make EQC easy to do business with.”

There is still time for customers to lodge a claim. Customers whose home suffered damage in the 14 February earthquake have until 16 May 2016 to lodge a claim. The deadline for lodging a claim for the 29 February earthquake is 30 May 2016.

Photo (below) of contents damage from last month’s earthquake submitted to EQC. Courtesy of Joseph Hsieh.

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