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Resolving complaints about Kaikōura claims

EQC and the private insurers who are handling claims for damage as the direct result of the Kaikoura earthquake aim to make the claims process go as smoothly as possible. However we recognise that things don’t always go to plan, so we have outlined below the agreed approach to resolving complaints.

EQC-managed claims

If you have an issue about your claim which is managed by EQC, we suggest you contact your claim manager in the first instance. If you don’t know who your claim manager is please contact EQC. If your issue cannot be resolved internally we can guide you through our external dispute resolution service options. For more information visit our complaints page .

EQC is managing all land claims for damage caused by the Kaikoura earthquake, as well as building and contents claims from customers 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

Insurer-managed claims

If you have any concerns about your building or contents claim or your settlement amount, contact your private insurer in the first instance. They can explain their internal disputes and complaints management process to you and make recommendations on the next steps.

All private insurers handling Kaikoura event claims are signed up to the Fair Insurance Code which sets out best practice standards for members of the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ). The code covers service levels, responsibilities and complaints procedures. It includes information about how insurance companies should handle complaints.

If your private insurer has been unable to resolve the issue for you, and your complaint is about a factual issue, you can take your complaint to an external disputes resolution service or for all other complaints, you can refer them to the Parliamentary Ombudsman.

You also have right of redress through the Courts for all complaints.

External disputes resolution service used by private insurers

Complaints that relate to QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited are dealt with by Financial Services Complaints Ltd (FSCL).

Complaints that relate to AA Insurance, FMG (Farmers Mutual Group), IAG (includes State, AMI and insurance managed through ASB, BNZ, Westpac and The Cooperative Bank), Medical Assurance Society/Medical Insurance Society, Tower Insurance Limited, Tower Insurance – Fintel, Vero (including AMP, ANZ and warehouse money policies underwritten by Vero) and Youi NZ Pty Limited are dealt with by Insurance & Financial Service Ombudsman Scheme (IFSO Scheme).

How to access information about your EQC claim

For information held on your EQC claim file, please approach your private insurer, who managed your EQC claim as EQC’s agent. The insurer will provide you with the information.

If your claim for Kaikoura earthquake related damage was managed by EQC and you would like some further information about your claim, please contact EQC on:

Email: oiarequests@eqc.govt.nz;
Phone: 0800 DAMAGE (0800 326 243); or
Post:
Information Requests
Earthquake Commission
PO Box 790
Wellington 6140

Q&As about complaints

1. What can I do if I am not happy with my EQC settlement?

A. In the first instance you should discuss this with your claim manager and provide them with any additional information that supports your case. If you don’t know who your claim manager is please contact EQC or your private insurer, whoever is managing your claim.

If you can’t agree, the next step is to ask your claim manager to access their internal complaints procedure where your claim will be re-considered.

If you still can’t agree, you should ask EQC or your private insurer, whoever is managing your claim, to guide you through the next steps in their complaints process.

2. What options do I have if my private insurer who is managing my EQC claim and I do not reach an agreement over my complaint?

A. The insurer will set out in a deadlock letter to you that one of your options is to have the complaint reviewed by its external dispute resolution scheme, which will usually be either Financial Services Complaints Ltd (FSCL) or the Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme (IFSO Scheme), depending on which scheme your insurer belongs to.

If your complaint is based on the legal interpretation of the EQC Act, your external disputes option is the Office of the Ombudsman.

Your insurer will tell you whether your dispute relates to the legal interpretation of the EQC Act and let you know who to contact.

Regardless of the nature of your complaint, you will always have a right of redress to the Courts.

3. What are FSCL and the IFSO Scheme?

A. These are organisations that provide an external disputes resolution to consumers with complaints about their financial service provider, including insurance claim. Their service is independent and free for customers of their scheme participants. Their decision is confidential and binding for the private insurers and EQC.

FSCL is the external dispute resolution scheme for QBE. The IFSO Scheme is the external dispute resolution scheme for AAI, FMG, IAG, MAS, Tower, Vero and Youi.

4. I’ve received my EQC settlement from my private insurer but I want some further information about it. Who should I contact?

A. In the first instance you should contact your insurer who managed your EQC claim as EQC’s agent. The insurer will provide you with the information. 

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