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EQC insurance overview

EQCover provides natural disaster insurance for residential homes, land and contents.

  • You automatically have EQCover for your home and land if you have a current private insurance policy for your home that includes fire insurance (and most do).
  • You most likely have EQCover for your contents if you have a current private insurance policy for your contents that includes fire insurance (and most do), and you took out the policy before 1 July 2019. EQCover does not apply to new contents policies taken out after that date, or to contents policies renewed after 1 July 2019 .
  • If you own a farm or rural property which has been damaged following a natural disaster, read our guide Damage to your farm - what EQC covers. It explains what EQC covers and doesn't cover and sets out specific issues to be aware of.
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Natural disasters that are covered

EQCover provides insurance for damage from many different natural hazard types, not just earthquakes!

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EQCover insures you against loss or damage from:

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

It insures your residential land (within limits) against storm and flood damage.

It also insures you for fire resulting from any of these natural disasters.

If your home isn't damaged after one of these disasters but damage is imminent as a direct result of one of them, EQCover may also apply.

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EQCover costs and maximum cover

EQCover costs 20 cents for every $100 (+ GST) of home or contents fire insurance that you have. You pay this amount to your private insurance company, which passes it on to EQC.

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If you took out EQCover before 1 July 2019, the most you can pay, per year, for one home and its contents is $240 (+ GST). This provides a maximum cover of $100,000 (+ GST) for your home, $20,000 (+ GST) for contents, and cover for your insured residential land. This amount of insurance is available for each natural disaster event.

EQCover policies taken out or renewed from 1 July 2019 provide a maximum cover for residential buildings of $150,000 (+ GST). The increase in residential cover and removal of contents cover will result in a net maximum increase in the EQC levy from $240 to $300 (+ GST).

You can read more about the changes here

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Government guarantee

EQCover is Government guaranteed.

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This provides assurance to consumers that if EQC has a very large number of claims – for example, after a major natural disaster – and cannot cover its obligations from the Natural Disaster Fund and its reinsurance, then the Government will pay the shortfall.

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Direct EQCover

If you are unable to obtain EQCover for your residential building via private insurers you can apply through EQC for Direct EQCover against natural disaster damage.

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Direct EQCover provides the same benefits as the EQCover product automatically received by anyone with a private insurance policy, that includes fire cover. The only difference is that Direct EQCover is paid directly to EQC, whereas the EQCover levy is paid through a private insurer when the customer pays their premium for private cover.

Before you can apply for Direct EQCover you will need to apply for insurance though the private market. We will consider all applications on a case-by-case basis where customers would otherwise be unable to obtain natural disaster insurance because of factors not relevant to natural disaster risk.

For more information about Direct EQCover please contact EQCover@eqc.govt.nz

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Questions and answers

Answers to some common questions about EQCover are available here. If you have a question that isn’t answered, please contact us.

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Please note: Some processes are different for people affected by the Canterbury earthquakes. If that affects you, please also see the Canterbury section.

Will EQCover help me protect my property against future natural disasters?

If a natural disaster occurs and damage to your property is imminent, EQCover may be able to help. (However, you must take reasonable steps yourself to prevent further damage to your property.)

Please note that EQC cannot pay for improvements to your property to address conditions that existed before the natural disaster.

If you think EQCover isn't enough for your property, talk to your insurance company – they may be able to assist you with additional cover.

Does EQCover pay for​ temporary accommodation?

EQCover covers only direct physical damage to your insured property – it doesn't pay for temporary accommodation.

Does EQCover pay for theft from my property, or vandalism, after a natural disaster?

No, EQCover doesn't include ‘consequential’ losses that might occur after a natural disaster – such as theft or vandalism.

I'​ve taken out insurance for my home and there is a 21-day earthquake exclusion period. Does this restrict my cover with EQC?

No – as long as you have a valid fire insurance policy, you have EQCover.

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