EQC and insurers want to provide a streamlined claims experience for people affected by the Kaikoura earthquakes

Insurers are professional claims managers well equipped to handle events such as these.

Customers will be dealing with their own insurer.

This will deliver efficiencies for everyone by reducing double handling through less assessments and handovers between organisations which will speed up settlements.

No. The joint approach does not change the entitlements you have under your policy or the Earthquake Commission Act (the Act). EQC has provided training to insurance companies on the specific requirements of the EQC Act.  Insurers are simply acting as EQC’s  agent so that you have a more streamlined claims experience, without the need for multiple assessments.

Insurance Council of New Zealand members that offer home and contents insurance and have agreed to this new approach are: AA Insurance, FMG, IAG (State, AMI, NZI, Lumley and Lantern brands as well as policies insured through ASB, BNZ and Westpac), MAS, QBE, Tower, Vero (including AMP, ANZ and Warehouse Money policies underwritten by Vero) and Youi. 

Insurers are currently responding to the most serious of cases. These are where damage to property is so significant that homes are uninhabitable or work premises are unusable. When this phase of the response is concluded insurers will commence assessment of all damaged properties that have been notified to them. If customers have issues regarding their home or work place that impact on their safety or ability to occupy their home then they should call our disaster response line immediately and advise us of their situation.

Insurers are responding in all areas where serious damage has been notified. This is particularly so in North Canterbury/Kaikoura but other areas such as South Marlborough and parts of Wellington and especially the Wellington CBD are our current focus due to the extent of damage and requests for assistance.

Your insurer will act as EQC’s agent to settle your claim.  They are settling claims in accordance with the EQC Act.  All insurers will use the same set of guidelines provided by EQC.

EQC and insurers are working out a streamlined complaints process to best help the customer.   The outcome will be the customer will have access to a free, independent dispute resolution mechanism similar to the current ombudsman schemes

Claim type

Who will assess and settle

Contents

Private insurers

Building

Private insurers

Contents and building

Private insurers

Land only

EQC

Land and building

EQC and Private insurers

Land and building and contents

EQC and Private insurers

If you have already lodged your claim with EQC you don’t need to do anything.

EQC will transfer your claim to your insurer and they will be in contact regarding assessment and settlement.

If you haven’t lodged a claim yet, you should contact your private insurer.

Your insurer will let you know timeframes and next steps.  Private insurers have already started assessing the worst affected properties in the most impacted areas.

Assessment may require a site visit.  If an assessor needs to visit your property, they will have identification and they will arrive at a time agreed with you.   

Land assessments by EQC will begin in 2017. At the moment EQC are analysing land damage information from geotechnical engineers, to help plan these assessments.

In some cases, such as for contents, you may simply be asked to provide specific information about damaged goods. It’s useful to photograph the damage and broken items as these will help to support your claim.

You do not need to see an assessor before you lodge a claim.

Each insurer will communicate their settlement strategy directly with their customers.

Most insurers will cash settle repairs.  We suggest that you contact your insurer as some insurers in some circumstances may offer a managed repair option. 

Some insurers will be supporting vulnerable customers to get home repairs carried out.  Insurers are concerned about the health and wellbeing of the people at risk of extreme hardship so please make your insurer aware if you are elderly or have small children, have health issues, have mental or physical disabilities, are under financial stress or are geographically isolated.

The amount you get paid out for loss of or damage to your home or contents will match the provisions set out in your insurance policy with your private insurer.

If your claim is under cap the cash settlement will comply with the provisions of the EQC Act.

EQC excesses apply and will be deducted from your settlement payments.

For Contents-only claims - the EQC excess deducted is $200.

For Building-only claim - the EQC excess deducted is 1 percent of the amount payable for the claim, with a minimum of $200 (multiplied by the number of homes in the building if it is a multi-unit property).

For combined Building and contents claim - the EQC excess deducted is a minimum of $200 (multiplied by the number of homes in the building if it is a multi-unit property) or 1% of the amount payable for the combined building and contents claim – whichever is greater.

Talk to your insurer – in most cases customers can go ahead and organise emergency or temporary repairs and will be reimbursed once they give the receipts to their insurer, or your insurer can arrange the emergency repairs and pay the contractor directly.  Examples of ‘make safe’ repairs are hot water cylinders, chimney removal, and temporary plywood walls.

Any payments your insurer makes for urgent work is likely to be deducted from your final settlement.

Any information that is relevant to your claim is now part of your claim file which EQC will pass on to your insurer.

If you are concerned, you could contact your insurer to make sure they have received the invoice and any other information you have supplied. If you have been reimbursed for urgent works, then this will likely be deducted from the final settlement.

Talk to your insurer – they are handling all aspects of your claim including new damage. If this new damage is to your land, your private insurer will pass this information to EQC.

Yes. Information that you provide is used to manage, assess and settle claims. As private insurers are acting as EQC agents to settle claims arising from the Kaikoura earthquakes, they are able to share your information so work can be completed.