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EQC insurance overview

EQCover provides natural disaster insurance for residential homes and land.

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).

We use the term ‘home’ or ‘building’ while the EQC Act uses the term ‘dwelling’ to refer to any self-contained premises used, or capable of being and intended to be used, as a home or holiday home.


Natural disasters that we cover

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

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.

Changes to EQCover building cap and premium (levy)

The New Zealand Government is changing the EQCover residential building cap and associated premium (levy) from 1 October 2022 for natural disaster damage.

Information about these changes, including a factsheet and FAQs, can be found on our EQCover building cap and premium changes page.

EQCover limits and maximum cover

Toka Tū Ake EQC provides a maximum amount of EQCover for damage to a residential building – such as your home – and residential land under the EQC Act.

The EQCover building cap for a residential building  containing one dwelling is $150,000 + GST for each natural disaster event. This will begin increasing to $300,000 + GST from 1 October 2022. More information about this change can be found here.

Any building cover above the EQCover cap is provided by your private insurer, as outlined in your valid policy. 

EQCover is available for some residential land, but there are limits to this unique insurance. More information about EQCover for residential land can be found here

EQCover costs

An EQCover premium – also referred to as the levy - is collected by your private insurer and paid to Toka Tū Ake EQC.

The EQCover premium is 20c per $100 of the EQCover amount, up to a maximum of $300 ($345 incl. GST).

EQCover premiums will begin changing from 1 October 2022 alongside an increased EQCover building cap. The EQCover premium will become 16c per $100 of the EQCover amount, up to a maximum of $480 ($552 incl. GST). More information about this change can be found here.

Your private insurer collects the EQCover premium and pays it into the Natural Disaster Fund which is managed by Toka Tū Ake EQC and is used to pay EQCover claims.

EQCover building excess

An excess is the amount you must contribute toward an EQCover building claim that is accepted under the EQC Act 1993.

If your accepted EQCover claim is for $20,000 or less, an EQCover building excess of $200 (incl. GST) will be deducted before the rest is paid. If your accepted EQCover claim is for more than $20,000, 99% of this amount will be paid, as an EQCover building excess of 1% will be deducted.

The building excess is calculated at 1% of the maximum amount payable, including GST, and deducted from the amount of your claim.

Government guarantee

EQCover is Government guaranteed. This provides assurance to customers that if Toka Tū Ake 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.

Direct EQCover

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

Direct EQCover provides the same benefits as the EQCover purchased through private insurers. The only difference is that it is purchased directly from Toka Tū Ake EQC.

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.

For more information about Direct EQCover please contact

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.