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EQCover building cap and premium changes

In September 2021, the Government announced changes to the residential building cap and associated premium (levy).  

These changes were made in response to increased residential repair costs and to support continued access to natural hazard insurance for homeowners in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

There were no changes made to EQCover limits for residential land.

EQCover building cap changes

From 1 October 2022, the maximum amount of EQCover available for a residential building (known as the building cap) began to change from $150,000+GST to $300,000+GST. 

The EQCover building cap changed when: 

  • Your existing insurance policy reached its first anniversary date after 1 October 2022. 

Or 

  • You entered into a new insurance policy on or after 1 October 2022.

If your property was damaged by a natural hazard before 1 October 2023, and your policy had not renewed to adopt the new building cap, then your building cap remained $150,000 + GST for your home.

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

EQCover premium (levy) changes

The EQCover premium (levy) also changed alongside the changes to the EQCover building cap to 16c per $100 of EQCover, up to a maximum of $480 ($552 incl. GST). 
 
Before this, the EQCover premium was 20c per $100 of EQCover amount, up to a maximum of $300 ($345 incl. GST).

EQCover excess changes

An excess applies to EQCover residential building claims, and is calculated at 1% of the maximum amount payable, including GST.  
 
Under the $300,000 + GST building cap, your EQCover excess (per dwelling) is a minimum of $200 (incl. GST) and will be a maximum of $3,450 (incl. GST).  
 
Under the $150,000 + GST building cap, your EQCover excess would be  a maximum of $1,725 incl. GST.

What EQCover building cap applies?

The EQCover building cap that applies to an EQCover claim depends on when the damage occurred. Regardless of what building cap applies, your cover will still be topped up to the sum insured by your private insurer, as outlined in your policy. 

EQCover claims for events prior to 1 October 2022 retain the relevant EQCover cap for their policy at the time of natural disaster damage.

This means the maximum EQCover building cap is:

  • $100,000 + GST for claims where the damage occurred before 1 July 2019,
  • $150,000 + GST for claims where the damage occurred between 1 July 2019 and 30 September 2022. 

Following 1 October 2022 the maximum EQCover building cap is:

  • $150,000 +GST for claims where the damage occurred up until your policy anniversary date 
  • $300,000 +GST for claims where the damage occurred after your policy anniversary date.

This table outlines the EQCover building cap that will likely apply. Subject to certain conditions, EQCover claims can be lodged up to two years after the date of natural disaster damage with your private insurer.   

Date of damage

Valid insurance policy status

EQCover building cap

Maximum EQCover excess*
Before 1 October 2022
 

 
Existing $150,000 + GST $1,725 incl. GST
After 1 October 2022   Existing

$150,000 + GST

(before first anniversary date of policy)

$1,725 incl. GST

$300,000 + GST

(after first anniversary date of policy)

$3,450 incl. GST
After 1 October 2022 New $300,000 + GST $3,450 incl. GST
*Calculated at 1% of the maximum EQCover building cap (per dwelling), including GST.

Anniversary date

Your anniversary date is the anniversary of the start of the period of cover under your insurance policy.

If your insurance policy has renewed previously, your anniversary date is the anniversary of the start of the cover under your first policy in the series of renewals.

Your anniversary date and renewal date may be different. This could be because:

  • Your policy renews more frequently than yearly (e.g. monthly); or
  • Your private insurer may have allocated a renewal date that is different to the anniversary of your policy.

More information

If you have any questions about your insurance, including about these changes and your policy anniversary date, your private insurer is the best first point of contact. 

We also have some resources that may be helpful: 

Toka Tū Ake EQC is also here to answer any questions around these changes. You can call us on 0800 DAMAGE (0800 326 243) or email Toka Tū Ake EQC at info@eqc.govt.nz.