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Customers’ experience of the Earthquake Commission’s Claims Management Processes

Customers’ experience of the Earthquake Commission’s (EQC) claims management processes following the Canterbury earthquakes and other natural disaster events has been highly variable. 

Customers in Canterbury often had very different interactions with EQC, even when their claims appeared to be of a similar nature to other customers.  A range of factors influenced Canterbury customers’ experiences of the claims management process, including:

  • EQC did not know who its customers were until customers made a claim;
  • the number and complexity of claims and exposures, and the changes to EQC’s business processes to attempt to improve efficiency;
  • the need to apportion damage to different damage-causing events;
  • whether their residential building claim was over or under the EQC statutory cap (generally $100,000 plus GST);
  • whether their home was repaired through the Canterbury Home Repair Programme;
  • the nature and extent of residential land damage; and
  • whether the customers were identified as ‘vulnerable’ by EQC.

Throughout the response and recovery from the 2010/2011 Canterbury earthquake sequence, there were a range of other natural disaster events across New Zealand (such as the 2013 Seddon earthquakes and the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake).  EQC adapted and evolved its claims management processes after these events, taking into account valuable lessons learned from the ongoing Canterbury claims process.  This, and the difference in the nature and extent of damage, meant that customers with claims from these other events experienced different business processes from customers in Canterbury, even though their claims were being processed at the same time.

In 2018, EQC adopted a case management approach for remaining Canterbury claims, bringing it in line with the business processes it was already using for claims from other events.  EQC has also made a broader organisational shift to a Customer Centred Operating Model, which is intended to reinforce a culture that puts customers first – including moving decision making power closer to customers and making it easier for customers to do business with EQC.

Briefing: Customers’ experience of the Earthquake Commission’s Claims Management Processes (PDF, 1.8MB)

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