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People have three months to lodge EQC claims from today’s earthquake

People who have suffered damage to their home, land or contents from today’s earthquakes off the North Island’s east coast have three months to lodge their claim with the Earthquake Commission (EQC).

EQC General Manager Customer and Claims Trish Keith says that people have plenty of time to make a claim, after making sure they and their families and friends are safe and looked after.

“It can take some time for the picture regarding claims to emerge as people take stock of how their properties have fared,” Mrs Keith says.

EQC’s website has more information about what to do after an earthquake at: http://www.eqc.govt.nz/claims/after-natural-disaster

Lodging an EQC claim

People have three months to lodge a claim with EQC from the date on which a natural disaster occurs. The date of this event is 2 September so people have until Friday 2 December to lodge a claim.

You can lodge claims with EQC online at eqc.govt.nz/claims, via email on info@eqc.govt.nz 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.

If you have taken out a home or contents fire insurance policy, EQC covers you against physical loss and damage to your home (usually up to $100,000 + GST), contents (usually up to $20,000 + GST) and a defined area of residential land from:

  • an earthquake
  • a natural landslip
  • a volcanic eruption
  • hydrothermal activity
  • a tsunami.

EQC also insures your residential land (within limits) against storm and flood damage, and insures you for fire resulting from any of these natural disasters. If your property isn't damaged after one of these disasters but damage is imminent as a direct result of one of them, EQC may also provide cover.

Making homes safe

If you need to take action to make your home safe, sanitary, secure and weather-tight, please record the work done, take photographs where appropriate, and keep a copy of any bills paid. Reimbursement for temporary or urgent repairs is subject to EQC acceptance of a valid claim. EQC staff will always carry photo identification and usually phone, if they need to visit your property.

If possible, take photos before moving anything or tidying up. That makes assessment of the claim easier. Spillages and crockery and glass breakages can be cleared up – anything not perishable should be kept to make assessing claims easier.

Ruined or spilt food and other perishables should be disposed of, but people should list the items as they bury, burn, or dump them.

Once the claim is lodged, an outline of the next steps in the claims process will be sent out.

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