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Catastrophe Response Programme 2009/10

This briefing describes the process for scaling up in the event of a major natural disaster prior to the Canterbury earthquake sequence as requested by the Inquiry.

EQC’s experience prior to the Canterbury earthquakes was limited to a number of minor to moderate sized natural disaster events.  In the 1990s and 2000s, EQC was regularly updating and improving its catastrophe response plan, informed by lessons from international events and seismic hazard, geotechnical and engineering research.  The plan was externally reviewed in 2009.  The review panel made a range of recommendations for EQC to improve the plan.  From August 2009 onwards, EQC was implementing the panel’s recommendations, but the work programme had not been completed at the time of the first Canterbury earthquake.  Some recommendations were 12-18 months away from being implemented in September 2010.

Immediately following the September 2010 earthquake, the response plan was put into action. Once the scale of the event, and projected number of claims became clear, EQC then revised its response. The response was then amended again following the February 2011 earthquake.

The Canterbury experience has shown that the response to a major event goes beyond simply scaling up EQCs resources. EQC (and others in the response and recovery ecosystem) have learnt that responding to an event of a similar scale in the future will require greater co-ordination and alignment across the entire insurance response.

Briefing:  Catastrophe Response Programme 2009/10 (PDF, 1.2MB)

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