An agreement between private insurers and the Earthquake Commission (EQC) will simplify how home and contents insurance claims are resolved for people affected by the Kaikoura Earthquake. 

Under the agreement, private insurers will act as EQC’s agents and receive, assess and settle home and contents claims for earthquake damage from their own customers, even those claims that are under the EQC cap. EQC will assess land damage as land is not covered by private insurance policies.
Customers are encouraged to lodge a claim with their private insurer in the first instance. Where customers have already lodged home building or contents claims with EQC, these will be passed onto their insurer by EQC so there is no need for people to make another call.

Tim Grafton, Insurance Council Chief Executive said, “We are approaching this in the spirit of good faith to benefit homeowners who will have their own insurer manage their claim from beginning to end. This will deliver efficiencies for everyone by reducing double handling and speed up settlements.”

EQC Chief Executive Ian Simpson said the simplified approach for home and contents claims is an example of how insurers and EQC can work together to improve the claims process for customers.

“This approach draws on the experience we have gained from settling hundreds of thousands of claims following the Canterbury, Eketahuna, Cook Strait and February 2016 earthquakes. The new approach will be more efficient and will mean we can make the best use of the country’s loss adjusting expertise to deliver a better result for customers,” he said.

The agreement is between the EQC and the Insurance Council of New Zealand’s members who offer home and contents insurance. 

The simplified approach will not change customers’ entitlements under their insurance policy or the EQC Act. 

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Released: 13 December 2016 
Released by the Earthquake Commission