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Update on Kaikoura earthquake claims

Here’s an update on where we are at with the settlements of claims for damage caused by the 14 November Kaikoura earthquake.

EQC has received around 38,000 residential claims for damage caused by the 14 November Kaikoura earthquake. The majority of claims lodged are for building damage only (71%), 10% for building and contents, 9% contents only and 10% land damage. Christchurch, Wellington, North Canterbury and Marlborough are the top locations for claims lodged.

We can now confirm that EQC and insurers are working towards having made the majority of building and contents settlement offers by the end of 2017. For land claims which are managed solely by EQC, we expect to complete settlement payments by the end of the year.

EQC managed claims

EQC has a Memorandum of Understanding with Insurance Council New Zealand (ICNZ) members which means most customers with claims for earthquake damage to their homes and/or contents are being managed by their private insurer from the lodgement to the settlement stage.

EQC, however, is managing all land claims which amount to around 3,000. EQC is also managing around 3,000 building and contents claims. These claims are from people who:

  • have an open claim from another event (e.g. Seddon 2013 or Canterbury 2010-2011)
  • are insured by a company which is not part of the agreement with insurers for the Kaikoura event, or
  • have direct insurance with EQC. 

Where possible EQC and insurers will settle the land, building and/or contents claims for a property as close together as possible. In some cases this will not be possible due to the complex nature of the land or building damage, or other factors such as specialist reports being required from engineers or valuers.

Progress to date 

EQC is prioritising vulnerable customers and those whose properties have suffered severe damage. EQC has completed the majority of land damage assessments for the properties with the most severe damage. Most of these properties are in or around Kaikoura, Ward and Waiau.
So far EQC has paid out over $12 million; almost half in Kaikoura and the rest split across Hurunui and Marlborough. These are made up of mainly overcap payments and some land settlements.

Next steps

EQC is currently undertaking physical land assessments in Wellington, Blenheim, Kaikoura, Waiau, Cheviot and further south towards Christchurch. EQC will contact customers when assessors are working in their area to book an appointment.

For properties with building and contents damage which are managed by EQC, we expect to start making assessments in April. Depending on the nature of damage, not all assessments will require a site visit. For example, minor contents damage may be able to be settled based on documents supplied by the customer and an over-the-phone assessment conversation.

Over the next few weeks, we are planning to contact all customers whose claims EQC is managing to give them an update and information on next steps. We will also be asking them to let us know, if they haven’t already, whether they have lost their primary source of heating to ensure their claim gets prioritised. 

We are also in discussion with insurers and local authorities about running another round of community meetings for homeowners so that they can get an update and talk to their insurer.

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